FAYETTEVILLE, AR – On July 13, 2021, MANA physicians voted to require all staff to get the COVID-19 vaccine and be fully vaccinated by September 30, 2021.
As of July 13, 2021, 100% of MANA physicians are fully vaccinated and 83% of employees are fully vaccinated.
Medical Associates of Northwest Arkansas (MANA) is an independent, physician-owned group with 23 health clinics and 730 staff, including physicians and employees.
The Delta Variant in Northwest Arkansas
Arkansas and Missouri are leading the nation in new COVID-19 cases driven by the highly contagious Delta variant.
“The most distressing aspect of the virus right now is the Delta variant, which has been linked to higher transmission rates, more severe disease, and higher hospitalization rates among those infected,” said Dr. Allen Moseley, a Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine physician at Fayetteville Diagnostic Clinic and a member of MANA’s COVID Task Force.
Dr. Moseley added, “the low vaccination rates in the state and region create the breeding ground for additional variants to develop.”
Protecting Patients and Staff
In addition to the hospitalization and death numbers climbing, MANA physicians are concerned about the risk of unvaccinated staff spreading the more easily transmissible Delta virus to other co-workers or patients, particularly those who are immunocompromised or otherwise particularly vulnerable.
“We want everyone who comes to a MANA clinic to feel safe knowing that all MANA physicians and staff are fully vaccinated”, said Paula Maxwell, Chief Operating Officer at MANA.
MANA’s Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine physicians care for critically ill patients in the COVID Unit at Washington Regional Medical Center and see the positive impacts and protection the COVID-19 vaccine provides. 99% of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 are not vaccinated.
“Throughout this pandemic, we have tried to make decisions that provide the best protection for our physicians, staff, and patients with the resources and information available at that time,” said Jason Wilson, Chief Executive Officer of MANA. “Our physicians know full vaccination is the best option to prevent further hospitalization and loss of life.”
MANA staff who are not vaccinated will need to complete the two-dose requirement for the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine or one dose for the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, at least 14 days prior to the September 30 deadline to be fully vaccinated.
MANA physicians encourage everyone 12 years of age and older to get the COVID-19 vaccine, to wear a mask in public, and wash their hands often. To schedule a vaccine appointment or for more information, visit our vaccine frequently asked questions.