Special to Atmore News
Escambia County Health Care Authority (ECHCA) officials announced this week that, at this time, the authority will not require employees to get COVID vaccinations as a condition of employment.
“We strongly encourage all employees to get the vaccine, but at this point in time we are not making it mandatory,” ECHCA CEO Jeff Booth said in a press release.
The no-shot-required decision comes after a number of large health systems — both locally and nationally — have decided to do the opposite and require their employees, physicians, volunteers and vendors to vaccinate.
This will affect all ECHCA employees who work at Atmore Community Hospital, D.W. McMillan Memorial Hospital (DWM) and all affiliated medical centers and physician clinics in Atmore, Brewton and Flomaton.
All local citizens are strongly encouraged to get the vaccine. Several ECHCA COVID vaccine clinics have been offered in the past, and more than 10,000 doses have been given locally. County health department offices in Atmore and Brewton are currently offering no-appointment-needed inoculations.
Escambia County Health Department’s Atmore office will continue to offer, without appointment, free COVID-19 vaccinations from 9 a.m. until 11 a.m. each Monday through the end of August. The last two days the Atmore office, located in the satellite courthouse off U.S. 31 (East Nashville Avenue), will offer the no-appointment-needed immunizations are Monday, August 23, and Monday, August 30.
Booth praised the men and women who work at the authority’s medical facilities across the county.
“I just want to say, ‘thank you’ to everyone who is part of our healthcare team for what they do each day for all of our patients and their families, particularly in these very trying times,” the healthcare authority CEO said. “Their commitment to providing the best possible healthcare to the citizens of our communities is much appreciated.”