More than 100 health systems and a quarter of all U.S. hospitals have mandated COVID-19 vaccinations for physicians and employees following an executive order that requires vaccination for federal employees. The Permanente Medical Groups, as part of Kaiser Permanente, were among the first health care organizations in the country to roll out a vaccine mandate ꟷ a month before the Biden administration announced its federal employee policy.
“As a health care leader, the way you demonstrate leadership during this pandemic is to get vaccinated and to mandate it,” Stephen Parodi, MD, national infectious disease leader at Kaiser Permanente, said in an interview with the American Medical Association. Dr. Parodi, associate executive director of The Permanente Medical Group, explained that physicians and employees have the option of going to a Kaiser Permanente facility or outside the health system, such as a local pharmacy, to get vaccinated.
Dr. Parodi described Kaiser Permanente’s efforts to provide flexibility and transparency, making the “right thing” easy thing to do. Physician training, town halls, and informative emails and videos are a few of the ways that the PMGs have addressed barriers to vaccination and alleviated fears or concerns.
The PMGs’ efforts are paying off: up to 98% of Permanente physicians have been vaccinated, and approximately 85% of employees have been at least partially vaccinated ahead of the organization’s September 30 deadline.
Note: Read Dr. Parodi’s full interview on the AMA site.