Lexington Medical Center, Prisma Health suspend COVID-19 vaccine requirement for employees
COLUMBIA, SC (WOLO)– Two Midlands hospital systems announced they will no longer require their employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19. Prisma Health and Lexington Medical Center say they will suspend their vaccine requirement, after a federal judge blocked a national regulation requiring all employees working in healthcare facilities to be vaccinated against the virus.
A statement from Lexington Medical Center says, “Since a U.S. District judge has issued a preliminary injunction against the CMS mandate that health care workers be vaccinated against COVID-19, Lexington Medical Center is pausing its COVID-19 vaccine requirement for employees. We will wait for the case to make its way through the courts to determine next steps.
Lexington Medical Center believes the COVID-19 vaccine is safe and effective, and the best tool available to prevent the spread of the virus, protect families and keep our community moving forward.”
Prisma Health also sent us a statement, saying, “At Prisma Health, nothing is more important to us than the health and safety of our patients and the members of our team. Throughout the pandemic, we have encouraged COVID-19 vaccination for everyone who is eligible, and we continue to do so. We have provided more than 462,000 vaccinations to our communities to help fight this pandemic.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) had issued an emergency regulation that required all employees working in healthcare facilities to be vaccinated against COVID-19. If facilities did not comply with the regulation, they would be terminated from Medicare and Medicaid programs, which would impact many of our patients.
Recently, a U.S. District Judge in Monroe, Louisiana, issued a preliminary injunction, affecting S.C. and other states, blocking CMS from implementing its vaccine mandate for healthcare workers until the court can resolve legal challenges.
Because of this preliminary injunction, we are suspending our COVID-19 team member vaccine requirement. We will continue to monitor this situation. Prisma Health is committed to complying with all federal requirements.”