The claim: University of Alabama at Birmingham Hospital has withdrawn its COVID-19 vaccine requirement from all staff
Employees of many major companies have vehemently objected to the COVID-19 vaccination requirement announced by President Joe Biden in September.
This has led to a series of false claims about the impact of that pushback, including a claim debunked by USA TODAY that Delta ditched its vaccine mandate.
Now a social media post alleges that an Alabama health care system has dropped its COVID-19 vaccination policy.
“University of Alabama Hospital, Birmingham has withdrawn its (vaccine) requirement for all its staff,” reads an Oct. 26 Facebook post, which appears to be a screenshot of a September 21 viral tweet.
The post collected more than 1,000 interactions in less than a week.
But this claim omits some important information. While it is true that the University of Alabama at Birmingham Health System has withdrawn required COVID-19 vaccination for health system workers, it is a temporary measure.
USA TODAY was unable to reach the Twitter user, but reached out to the Facebook poster for comment.
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COVID-19 vaccine demand on hold, pending federal guidance
The hospital system is temporarily withdrawing its vaccine policy as it awaits federal guidance after the mandate.
UAB Health System announced on August 17 that employees and other personnel working in its hospitals and clinics must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by November 12.
A month later, the health system withdrew its vaccine requirement, citing the need to await federal guidance.
“Because UAB Health System must follow federal law, UAB Health System will at this time scrap its vaccine policy,” the university said in a statement to the Associated Press. “UAB Health System will await detailed federal guidance to develop vaccine replacement policy to ensure full compliance with federal law.”
On October 22, the University of Alabama System, of which UAB is a part, announced that all university employees, including full-time and part-time faculty, staff and postdoctoral researchers, must submit proof of COVID-19 vaccination by December 8. , the AP reports.
“As a federal contractor, UAB employees are required to comply with the federal vaccination requirement and exemptions,” UAB spokesman Bob Shepard said in an email to USA TODAY. “UAB has informed its employees of this.”
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However, these policies do not yet apply to health system employees, as that portion of the federal mandate is still being worked out by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, a federal agency under the Department of Health and Human Services, Skilled Nursing News reported. .
“UAB Health System will consider this requirement in conjunction with upcoming guidelines from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services that will apply to all hospitals,” the university said on its website.
Our review: Missing context
Based on our investigation, we are reviewing MISSING CONTEXT claim that the UAB Health System has withdrawn the COVID-19 vaccine requirement for all personnel. The health system halted its vaccine policy in mid-September, shortly after the federal mandate was announced, but it’s a temporary measure. UAB Health System said it will wait for federal guidelines to develop a replacement policy.
Our fact-checking resources:
- Associated Press, Sept. 9, Biden Announces Major New COVID-19 Vaccine Mandates for 100 Million Americans
- US TODAY, Sept. 12, Some companies welcome Biden’s vaccination mandate, while others worry about cost, effects on workforce shortages
- UAB News, Aug 17, UAB Health System Requires COVID-19 Vaccines for UAB Health System Employees
- Associated Press, Sept. 17, UAB Pauses Vaccination Requirement Amid Federal Mandate
- Associated Press, Oct. 22, UA Campuses, Auburn Requires Vaccinations for All Employees
- Bob Shepar, October 28, US E-Mail Exchange TODAY
- Skilled Nursing News, Oct. 11, CMS partners with OSHA to provide staff vaccination, on track for late October
- The University of Alabama at Birmingham, Accessed Oct. 29, Vaccine Requirement for UAB Faculty and Staff in Working Groups A and F
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