LICKING COUNTY, Ohio (WCMH) — Licking Memorial Health Systems is requiring all employees, medical staff, volunteers, and contract staff to be vaccinated against COVID-19 if they are to enter an LMHS facility.

According to a statement released Wednesday, employees are required to fully immunize within 60 days of the Food and Drug Administration’s full approval of the vaccines, which is expected by the end of the year. COVID-19 vaccines have been approved for emergency use since December 2020.

“With the highly infectious variants and cases rising once again in Ohio, it is vital to add the vaccine requirement to continue our mission of improving the health of the community,” said LMHS President & CEO Rob Montagnese.

If the FDA does not give full approval by the end of the year, LMHS will reevaluate the vaccination requirement, according to the statement. In addition, LMHS will consider exemptions for religious and medical reasons that are approved by a medical review committee.

LMHS says its decision to require the vaccination for employees is in accordance with guidance from the Ohio Hospital Association.

More information can be found on the LMHS website.