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Hospitals aren’t tracking workers’ COVID-19 vaccination status

I’d like to know how many health-care workers are employed by Asante and Providence in Southern Oregon and how many of those have declined to be vaccinated.

— Anonymous

Asante and Providence aren’t tracking how many of their workers have received the COVID-19 vaccine and how many have declined.

“Asante does not have the exact number of employees who have received the COVID-19 vaccine because vaccination records are considered protected health information as part of an employee’s personal medical record,” said Asante spokesperson Lauren Van Sickle.

Asante has 6,155 employees working in Jackson and Josephine counties. About 50% have self-reported that they received the full series of COVID-19 vaccinations, she said.

However, Asante doesn’t believe that figure accurately reflects the number of employees who have been fully vaccinated. For example, some employees may only have received one of the two shots so far, Van Sickle said.

The Moderna and Pfizer vaccines, which reached Southern Oregon first, require two shots to become fully effective. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine requires one shot.

Providence Health & Services employs approximately 1,500 people in its Southern Oregon service area, said Providence spokesperson Julie Denney.

About 1,148 caregivers received vaccines at Providence’s on-site vaccination clinic, but a small portion of those vaccines went to people from other local clinics and care facilities, plus people from local community groups that help under-served populations, Denney said.

The Providence vaccination clinic was open for two months beginning Dec. 18, 2020, she said.

Since then, more Providence caregivers ― including newly hired employees ― may have been vaccinated at the Community COVID-19 Vaccination Clinic, mass vaccination events, pharmacies and other places in the community distributing shots, Denney said.

“Like other health systems in the state, we’re encouraging vaccinations, but not requiring them. So, we are not tracking declinations. While we know how many caregivers were vaccinated at our own clinics, we don’t know how many caregivers received vaccinations elsewhere,” Denney said.

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