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8/5/21 news article

to keep children safe, Dayton Children's requires COVID-19 vaccine for all employees

At the urging of the Children’s Hospital Association, the American Hospital Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Nurses Association, Dayton Children’s will require the COVID-19 vaccine for staff, volunteers, students and onsite contractors. This decision is made with a great deal of research, analysis and discussion, putting the safety of our children at the forefront.

Even though children are less likely to become seriously ill from COVID-19 infections, they have suffered. More than four million children have been diagnosed with COVID to date. Some have even developed MIS-C, in which their organs and even their skin becomes inflamed. They need long-term follow up to ensure they recover, especially from heart issues.

Even those children who have not gotten sick have suffered. Pandemic-related isolation, fear and loss exacerbated mental and behavioral health conditions. Children who most needed academic support could not go to school. Learning all but ground to a halt. Support services through the school were severely limited.

Children have lost parents to this virus. They have had to say goodbye to grandparents, aunts and uncles. They will never see some teachers or some neighbors again because of this virus.

We had hope with a vaccine. We took off our masks. We returned to school. We started traveling, meeting with friends and families, and shopping again.

Then we stopped halfway to the goal line. Ohio is only 50% vaccinated. The virus took that opening and ran with it, mutating into the highly contagious delta variant. What we are seeing today is a virus taking advantage of our weak spots. It has strengthened to hit back harder against those who are unvaccinated, which includes our youngest children who have no vaccine to protect them yet.

Over the past 18 months, America’s children’s hospitals and their dedicated teams have worked heroically to do their part during the pandemic. With the recent surge in COVID cases across the country, we must go further to protect our nation’s children. They cannot protect themselves. We must do it for them.

While we respect differences of opinion, the science overwhelmingly shows the best available protection is the vaccine. We will also continue to wear masks, practice hand hygiene and social distance as added layers of protection.

At Dayton Children’s, we are honored and humbled by the trust parents place in us to care for their children. We must do all we can to protect them.