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Group of Wichita doctors call for universal vaccines for healthcare workers

Wichita doctors calling for universal vaccines for healthcare workers
Published: Aug. 5, 2021 at 10:50 PM CDT
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - On Tuesday, seven area infectious disease doctors signed a letter calling for universal vaccinations for healthcare workers, especially with the surge of new delta variant cases.

Dr. Keck Hartman is a part of Infectious Disease Consultants, a medical group in Wichita. He wrote the letter pleading to make the COVID-19 vaccine a requirement, stating about 25 to 30 percent of healthcare workers have not gotten it. He said the requirement is meant to protect the workers and their patients.

“It was bad enough last year, but we didn’t have a choice,” said Dr. Hartman, “but now we have a choice. Now, you are either protected or not. Get sick or not.”

Dr. Hartment said hospitals are currently re-opening COVID units and are low on staff. He said it should be a wake-up call for those without the shot.

“I think the question is changing from if or when we might require vaccination to why aren’t we? Why aren’t employers requiring it? And I think that’s what employers will have to start asking,” said Dr. Hartman.

Employment attorneys say a lot of companies have been hesitant to require the COVID-19 vaccine since it hasn’t gotten full approval from the FDA, but that could happen by Labor Day. If it does, they say the vaccine may be required by more workplace mandates.

“Take all means possible to protect themselves and employees and the patients we care for,” said Dr. Hartman.

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