UNIVERSITY OF PITTSBURGH MEDICAL CENTER WON’T REQUIRE STAFF TO TAKE COVID-19 VACCINE DUE TO ‘GENERAL UNCERTAINTY’

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The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) won’t require its health care employees to take the upcoming COVID-19 vaccine, which the medical provider expects to begin offering as soon as this month, according to PennLive.

The reason are several-fold, according to UPMC medical director of infection prevention and epidemiology, Dr. Graham Snyder. For starters, general uncertainty over the vaccine. And while the $21 billion nonprofit organization (which employs 89,000 people) has a mandatory flu vaccination policy, it’s “based on decades of experience with the influenza vaccine,” according to Snyder.

But there’s no comparable data for a COVID-19 vaccine, or on whether a mandate is the best way to get large numbers of people to become vaccinated, Snyder said on Tuesday.

The first COVID-19 vaccine, from Pfizer, is expected to soon receive emergency approval. A second vaccine, from Moderna, is also expected to soon receive emergency approval. Distribution of at least one vaccine is expected to begin this month.

Snyder said UPMC is “very excited about the preliminary information we have about how safe the vaccine is and how it will work.”

Still, he said UPMC will conduct its own review of the vaccines before injecting any of its employees. –PennLive

Until we learn more and build our own experience with this vaccine, plus, until we see the uptake of vaccine in our communities, and have an understanding about the role that vaccination has in ending this pandemic, it’s not the right thing to make it mandatory,” said Snyder – who added that UPMC’s independent review won’t slow down their plans to distribute the vaxx. – READ MORE

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