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Columbus Metropolitan Housing Authority is the latest Ohio employer to announce a vaccination requirement, helping agency achieve a 90% compliance rate

·3 min read

Columbus, OH, Sept. 01, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Columbus Metropolitan Housing Authority (CMHA) announced it began implementation of a mandatory vaccination policy for all employees that became effective Monday, Aug. 30, 2021, helping the agency reach a 90% immunization compliance rate.

On Aug. 22, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration granted full approval to the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. Though the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is currently the only vaccine the FDA has fully approved, CMHA said the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines will also be accepted to meet the new requirement. The new policy does not apply to residents whom CMHA serves.

“In accordance with Columbus Metropolitan Housing Authority’s duty to provide and maintain a workplace that is free of known hazards, we are adopting this policy to safeguard the health of our employees and their families, our customers and visitors, and the community at large from infectious diseases, such as COVID-19 or influenza, that may be reduced by vaccinations,” said CMHA President and CEO Charles Hillman.

“We are fully confident the vaccines are safe and effective and offer our best protection against this dangerous virus – getting vaccinated can keep you from getting and spreading the virus that causes COVID-19,” Hillman said in a written statement to CMHA employees.

CMHA is providing a cash incentive for all 120-plus staff members who receive the vaccine within the agency’s identified timeline. In addition, CMHA informed its staff that Columbus Public Health Department is offering $100 Visa cash cards to Franklin County residents who receive their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at the Columbus Public Health walk-in clinic or one of its seven neighborhood satellite clinics. No appointment is necessary. Vaccination cash will be offered by Columbus Public Health while supplies last through Sept. 10.

CMHA’s introduction of the vaccination requirement follows similar announcements by numerous colleges, national retailers and other Ohio businesses that have begun to mandate vaccines.

More than 10 Ohio colleges have issued a vaccine requirement for COVID-19, including Ohio State University, Kent State University, Xavier University, Case Western Reserve University, Kenyon College, College of Wooster, Mount St. Joseph University, Cleveland State University, Ohio Wesleyan University, Denison University, Otterbein University and Capital University.

MetroHealth System has joined Summa Health and a handful of other Northeast Ohio health systems in requiring employees, including contractors and volunteers, to receive COVID-19 vaccinations.

Gov. Mike DeWine said Aug. 26 that employers should have the discretion to require vaccination.

“I think this is a decision we should continue to allow the hospitals, universities and the businesses to make, and the government should not get involved in trying to interfere with them,” DeWine said.

President Joe Biden expressed support for vaccine mandates following the FDA’s announcement.

“Vaccination requirements have been around for decades,” he said. “Students, health care professionals, our troops are typically required to receive vaccinations to prevent everything from polio, to smallpox, measles, mumps, rubella. … It only makes sense to require a vaccine to stop the spread of COVID-19.”

Ohio reported just over 3,000 daily cases of coronavirus Monday, Aug. 30, with 3,091 cases recorded in the last day, according to the Ohio Department of Health (ODH).

After a week where the state surpassed 4,000 and 5,000 daily cases for the first time since the winter, the 3,091 cases are the fewest reported in a week. Over the last 21 days the state is averaging 3,399 cases a day, according to ODH. In the last seven days the average is 4,460.

About CMHA: CMHA helps people access affordable housing through collaborative partnerships, promote neighborhood revitalization and assist residents in accessing needed social services. CMHA has more than doubled its portfolio of housing over the last five years, including over $200 million in investment in 2020. We own over 4,000 units of affordable housing and through our Housing Choice Voucher and Project Based Rental Assistance Programs provide rental assistance to more than 250,000 Ohio and Washington, D.C., residents. Half of the authority's apartments are set aside as workforce housing for families earning 80% of the area median income.

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CONTACT: Mike Nowlin Columbus Metropolitan Housing Authority (CMHA) 989-450-0855 nowlin@gudmarketing.com