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VA mandates COVID-19 vaccination for all medical employees

The Department of Veterans Affairs is mandating COVID-19 vaccination for all medical employees...
The Department of Veterans Affairs is mandating COVID-19 vaccination for all medical employees including Veterans Health Administration staff. (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner/file)(Orlin Wagner | AP)
Published: Jul. 26, 2021 at 2:15 PM CDT
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WASHINGTON (KWTX) - The Department of Veterans Affairs is mandating COVID-19 vaccination for all Title 38 healthcare personnel, VA Secretary Denis McDonough announced Monday.

Title 38 employees are medical or healthcare providers including “physicians, dentists, podiatrists, optometrists, registered nurses, physician assistants, expanded-function dental auxiliaries and chiropractors who work in Veterans Health Administration facilities, visit VHA facilities or provide direct care to those VA serves,” the VA said in a press release.

Employees covered by requirement must be fully vaccinated within eight weeks.

“We’re mandating vaccines for Title 38 employees because it’s the best way to keep Veterans safe, especially as the Delta variant spreads across the country,” McDonough said.

“Whenever a Veteran or VA employee sets foot in a VA facility, they deserve to know that we have done everything in our power to protect them from COVID-19. With this mandate, we can once again make and keep that fundamental promise.”

Employees may receive the vaccine at not cost at any VA facility and will also receive four hours of paid leave with proof of vaccination.

“The department’s decision is supported by numerous medical organizations including the American Hospital Association, America’s Essential Hospitals and a Multisociety group of the leading Infectious Disease Societies. The American Medical Association, American Nurses Association, American College of Physicians, American Academy of Pediatrics, Association of American Medical Colleges, and National Association for Home Care and Hospice also endorsed mandating COVID-19 vaccination for health care workers,” the VA said.

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