Last week, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) issued two orders addressing the safety of our health care workers: The first order requires health care workers to be fully vaccinated or receive their second dose of the vaccine by September 30, 2021 as a condition of employment. The second order directs hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, and intermediate care facilities to verify that visitors are fully vaccinated or have tested negative for COVID-19 in the prior 72 hours before indoor visits. To meet the CDPH mandates and ensure the continued safety of our patients and guests,, MPSC now requires all employees to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 as a prerequisite to employment. Full vaccination means that an individual has received the second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, or a single dose of the Janssen/Johnson & Johnson vaccine prior to September 30, 2021.
This action by the CDPH is directly related to the coronavirus’ delta variant, which is now the most common strain causing new infections in California. Multiple studies confirm that the COVID-19 vaccines provide a great deal of protection, against known variants, including the delta variant. It was recently announced that the Pfizer vaccine is expected to receive full FDA approval by Labor Day. There are very few other vaccines, if any, that have been administered to over a billion people and studied across the world. Once the Pfizer vaccine is fully approved, experts believe it will convince those who are hesitant about the vaccine that the vaccines are safe.
Thankfully, the majority of staff at MPSC is fully vaccinated. “We are proud of our staff’s high vaccination rates and are grateful that the vast majority have embraced the opportunity to get vaccinated,” said Dr. David Awerbuck, MPSC’s president and CEO. “Our patients expect to be safe when they come to any of our surgery centers, and we need to do everything we can to protect everybody.”
In Monterey County, more than 99% of people who are fully vaccinated have not contracted the virus. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report 99.5% of hospital deaths across the country are among people who have not been vaccinated. “Getting vaccinated is one of the most important things all of us can do to protect our patients, colleagues, friends and family,” Awerbuck said.
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