ONE-ON-ONE: Nephron CEO explains decision to require employees to get vaccinated

COLUMBIA, SC (WOLO) — Less than 50 percent of South Carolinians are fully vaccinated. With only 55 percent of residents receiving even one dose, the Palmetto State is far from herd immunity.

To help with that. one South Carolina company is requiring all 2,000 employees to get their shots by this time next week.

The CEO of Nephron says she got the idea to mandate vaccination within the company after hearing about the limited resources at local hospitals due to COVID patients. Most of these patients are unvaccinated.

“I will tell you that at Lexington Medical Center, there has not been one admittance for a side effect from a vaccine, not in all these months,” said Lou Kennedy, CEO of Nephron Pharmaceuticals Corporation.

While she does not claim to be a scientist, she does trusts the ones within the company. 

“I love that they studied the data on our behalf and shared with me their willingness to get the vaccine early on, as soon as we were allowed to,” Kennedy said. “I’m happy to say that we have almost 100 percent compliance at Nephron.”

Those who have not been vaccinated have a week to be fully vaccinated or to have started their two dose series.

“I had a very meaningful conversation for the last 15 minutes with one of our team members that did have questions.  We have a surgeon and certified nurse on staff,” Nephron’s CEO said. “I invited them to come to my office and we had a powerful discussion about what the data shows and what the issues are that are floating around in the community. I learned even more.”

New hires must also show proof of vaccination before their first day of work.

Kennedy hopes that South Carolina residents do not listen to rumors and misinformation about the vaccine.

“It is nonsense. The science is there,” Kennedy said. “People can get on reputable science periodicals and find out that the science in ether The infectious disease head at the medical school at the University of South Carolina was in the paper just yesterday urging, begging and pleading people to get vaccinated. We know it would help us with herd immunity. We know we can do our best to protect children if adults get vaccinated.”

Kennedy believes a vaccine mandate is a good idea in workplaces where employees are in close proximity.

She adds that she does not know of any COVID outbreak that has happened at Nephon. She says that employees that have gotten COVID, did so from an outside source.

Categories: Local News, Richland