Georgia hospital system requiring doctors get COVID-19 vaccine

A Georgia healthcare provider says it will mandate COVID-19 vaccinations for all of its doctors at the end of the summer.

Piedmont Healthcare, which runs 11 hospitals, 34 urgent care centers, and hundreds of physical practice locations, says it will require all of its leadership, doctors, providers, and new employees to be vaccinated starting Sept. 1. 

While the system will allow for exceptions, it said in a release that they will be "few" and "rare."

The healthcare system says it already requires employees to get the annual flu vaccine and be vaccinated or immunity to measles, mumps, rubella, and varicella. 

" It’s important to consider that vaccination is a leading factor in patients and team members feeling safe within a healthcare setting, as shown by research we conducted," Piedmont Healthcare said in a statement. "Moreover, it is in keeping with our peers from other leading health systems throughout the United States."

As of Tuesday, officials with Georgia's Department of Public Health say 8.4 million vaccines have been given out in Georgia. About 39% of the population is fully vaccinated with 44% of Georgians receiving at least one shot.

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