Some Virginia hospitals will require COVID-19 vaccinations for employees

Some Virginia hospitals are joining Maryland and D.C. in requiring COVID-19 vaccinations for employees.

Northern Virginia’s Inova Health System – for example – will require all employees to be vaccinated by Sept. 1.

READ MORE: DC hospitals to require vaccinations for all employees

That means all 18,000 employees across its hospitals, primary and specialty care practices – as well as its Level 1 Trauma Center – will need to receive shots to continue working there.

The policy will also include part-time workers and contractors.

Inova’s announcement comes after Maryland and D.C. hospitals said earlier this month that they will require vaccinations for employees.

Right now, Virginia hospitals are operating under a policy that encourages employees to get the vaccine, but doesn’t require it.

Julian Walker is a vice president of the Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association – which includes a statewide membership of 110 hospitals across the Commonwealth.

Walker says that the voluntary vaccination policy could change to a mandatory policy as early as next month.

Such policies may be difficult to implement, however. Earlier this week, more than 150 Houston system employees were fired or resigned after they refused to get vaccinations, and after a federal judge tossed their lawsuit challenging the mandate.

READ MORE: Hospital workers' vaccine requirement challenge thrown out

Alex Alonso, is the chief knowledge officer for the Society for Human Resource Management, a nationwide organization that has been helping industries implement these COVID-19 vaccine policies.

Alonso told FOX 5 that such policies are common in the healthcare industry, but they are still seeing some resistance.

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"These mandates are most common in health care. And what we see in particular is, there is still, there is still some resistance to them. A case in point. Our own research said that about 28% of Americans would even choose to lose their jobs if it meant that they would refuse the vaccine. In other words, if forced or mandated, they would still choose not vaccinating themselves over keeping their jobs," Alonso said.

According to Alonso, the numbers are down with more education about the vaccine.

And while they haven’t seen any employee lawsuits yet, they are still managing some employee resistance.