MCW, Children's Wisconsin require COVID vaccine for staff

The Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW) on Thursday, July 29 announced that it will require all employees and learners to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by Nov. 1. Children's Wisconsin announced a similar requirement for its employees, physicians, other providers, learners, contractors and volunteers. The deadline for Children's Wisconsin staff to be fully vaccinated is Nov. 15.

The decision at MCW comes in response to the increase in positive cases of the delta variant and recent surges of COVID-19 cases across the community, state and country, an MCW news release indicated.

"There is overwhelming scientific evidence that COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective. As an academic medical center, it is incumbent upon us as health care providers and health science professionals to demonstrate our commitment to, and leadership for, public health and the health of our patients and communities," said John R. Raymond Sr., president and CEO of MCW. "We also believe that healthcare organizations, especially academic medical centers, need to lead the way by setting an example of best public health practices, and social responsibility for our stakeholders, vulnerable communities, and our region."

At both medical facilities, an exemption process is in place for medical and religious reasons, consistent with required seasonal flu vaccines at MCW. Beginning Nov. 1, all those approved for an exemption will be required to undergo periodic COVID-19 testing.

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"The best protection for our children from the physical, mental and emotional impacts of COVID-19 is the timely vaccination of the community surrounding them. The mission of Children’s Wisconsin drives us to do everything in our power to protect the health and well-being of kids. The vaccine is safe, effective and continues to be the most powerful tool against COVID-19," said Mike Gutzeit, MD, chief medical officer at Children’s Wisconsin.

The Centers for Disease Control updated its mask guidelines this week, encouraging mask-wearing indoors in public places in communities with high rates of transmission. Mask requirements and other protective measures remain in force on MCW’s three campuses.

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