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Charleston Area Medical Center, one of the largest health care systems in West Virginia, will add the COVID-19 vaccine to its list of required vaccinations for employees, according to a news release.

The health care system is providing Pfizer doses to its workforce, and those who get vaccinated outside the hospital with Pfizer, Moderna or Johnson & Johnson have until Oct. 15 to provide formal documentation to management.

“The decision to add the COVID-19 vaccine to CAMC’s vaccination program was not taken lightly. Leadership, management and the CAMC board of trustees have been monitoring guidance from health experts for some time,” the release read. “The COVID-19 vaccine, masks and distancing are our only tools to prevent the spread of disease.”

Earlier this week, WVU Medicine and Mon Health Systems announced similar mandates for their employees. The moves come as state health officials are monitoring hospital capacity and staffing levels as COVID-19 hospitalizations surge.

“As the tertiary care center for Southern West Virginia, CAMC cares for thousands of patients, including those who are the most ill,” the news release stated. “CAMC wants to provide the safest environment for its employees, patients, visitors and others who come to its facilities, and in doing so minimize the risk of making any patient sicker by transmitting COVID-19.”

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