In a balancing act between supporting vaccinations (and the state's mandate for healthcare workers) and managing staffing shortages, the hospital approved 160 religious exemptions and 20 medical exemptions. 

CEO Jeff Mengenhausen spoke with Senior Writer Katharhynn Heidelberg for her article

“We highly support the vaccine and the booster, but we also highly support our caregivers and value both," Mengenhausen said.

The COVID vaccine is not the only one Colorado hospital employees are required to have; they must also get a flu shot. MRH hasn’t seen comparable vaccine exemptions sought for the influenza vaccines. Mengenhausen said historically, that vaccination rate stands near 93%.

At the same time, the CEO said they've seen a decrease in COVID sickness among staff, and that all staff use appropriate PPE gear when dealing with COVID-19 patients and wear masks. 

What do you think about the level of exemptions? Is the hospital right to approve them? Do they have a choice given staffing challenges?

Protestors arguing against a potential vaccine mandate in August of this year.
Protestors arguing against a potential vaccine mandate in August of this year.