Bowling Green-based Med Center Health announced Thursday that it will require employees to get the COVID-19 vaccine.
The vaccine requirement applies to medical staff, students, residents, fellows, and vendors across the Med Center health system.
The deadline for getting immunized carries some symbolic weight.
Those in leadership positions will have through August 9 to receive their first doses, while all others have through September 1. The deadline is close to the one-year anniversary of the death of Dr. Rebecca Shadowen, the region’s top infectious disease specialist who contracted the coronavirus last year before vaccines were available.
Dr. William Moss heads emergency room services for Med Center Health and said in a statement that while he believes most physicians are immunized, the vaccination rate among all hospital employees is around 65%.
That rate, he said, must go up to help end the pandemic.
While the hospital is seeing some breakthrough cases in vaccinated individuals, the vast majority of new cases are among the unvaccinated population.
Earlier this week, dozens of medical groups around the country called for all health care and long-term care employers to require the vaccine for their workers.