CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Starting this summer, Thomas Memorial Hospital employees will be required to receive a yearly influenza vaccination to keep their jobs.
The hospital's board of trustees approved the new policy on Thursday. It gives employees until Nov. 30 to be vaccinated or seek an exemption to the policy.
The text of the policy says it applies to all employees of the Thomas Health System, including contract staff and students. But Paige Johnson, spokeswoman for the health system, said St. Francis Hospital's board of trustees has not yet approved the policy.
That hospital's medical executive committee will vote on the policy at its March 27 meeting. St. Francis' board of trustees will meet on March 28.
Because St. Francis' officials have not approved the policy, neither St. Francis nor Thomas Memorial has announced the policy to employees.
Thomas Memorial's quality council and medical executive committee approved the policy earlier this month.
Kathy McCarty, director of quality control for the health system, announced the new policy at a Thomas Memorial Hospital Board of Trustees meeting Thursday.
"All employees including contract staff and students at the Thomas Health System are mandated to receive yearly influenza vaccinations. All employees will be vaccinated during a specified vaccination period based on (Center for Disease Control) recommendations," the policy reads.
Employees must be vaccinated before Nov. 30 of each year. That also is the deadline for employees to file for an exemption from the policy. Johnson said employees must have a doctor's excuse to be exempted.
Any employee who does not comply with the policy will be placed on suspension without pay for up to 30 days, Johnson said. The employee will be terminated if they do not get a shot within that time.