UMMC to require COVID-19 vaccinations for employees and studentsPublished on Friday, July 16, 2021The University of Mississippi Medical Center is implementing a new COVID-19 vaccination policy that requires all employees and students to be fully vaccinated or wear an N95 mask while at a UMMC facility or clinic.The policy goes into effect July 26 and will be phased in over three months. Managers and supervisors will be first, followed by employees who have direct contact with patients and then all others.UMMC officials said the goal is to have everyone fully vaccinated or wearing an N95 mask at all times, with limited exceptions, on or before Nov. 1. Those who are fully vaccinated will “be eligible to display a sticker on their UMMC-issued ID badge,” hospital officials said in a release.“We treat the state’s most vulnerable patients, from premature infants to immunocompromised adults and everyone in between. When we became health care professionals or chose to work or study in a health care environment, we accepted the responsibility to always do what’s in the best interests of our patients. This is one of those times,” said Dr. LouAnn Woodward, vice chancellor for health affairs and dean of the School of Medicine.“Once the Food and Drug Administration lifts the emergency use authorization designation from any vaccine that UMMC administers, the option to decline a vaccine other than for certain accommodations will no longer be available. At that time, receiving the COVID-19 vaccination will become a condition of employment or enrollment – similar to the UMMC policy requiring employees and students receive the flu vaccine annually,” the statement read.