Orange County

‘A bit detrimental’: Some AdventHealth employees opting out of COVID-19 vaccine

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — Some health care workers are opting out of the COVID-19 vaccine, even though leaders at AdventHealth are working hard to convince the public it’s been thoroughly vetted and is very safe.

AdventHealth requires flu shots but can’t require COVID-19 shots yet. That’s because a federal law keeps them from mandating treatments under an emergency use authorization.

So for now, they have a goal to get all employees vaccinated.

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“It is a bit detrimental, honestly, when you hear about a health care professional, and they boldly assess, ‘I haven’t gotten it,’” said Dr. Alric Simmonds, chief health equity officer at AdventHealth.

He’s aiming to make sure everyone understands the safety of the COVID-19 vaccine.

Channel 9 reporter Lauren Seabrook asked him what level of hesitancy he is seeing within employees of AdventHealth, and what is being done internally to address that.

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He said AdventHealth staff is a microcosm of the greater community.

“So the same issues that you see broadly in the community, to some degree, you see some levels of that hesitation as well within our staff,” Simmonds said.

The community is tabulating a breakdown by race of which employees are getting the shot, and who’s opting out.

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Simmonds said they plan to spend time speaking with those opting out to understand their fears.

Adam Poulisse,

Adam Poulisse joined WFTV in November 2019.