FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Medical Associates of Northwest Arkansas (MANA) will soon require all physicians and staff members to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
MANA says the new rule will go into effect on September 30, 2021.
The news comes as the COVID-19 Delta variant spreads through the Ozarks, creating a surge in new cases that are stressing local health facilities.
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“The Delta variant is likely the most prevalent variant in Arkansas at this time,” noted Dr. Allen Moseley, pulmonologist with MANA and member of their MANA COVID Task Force. “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. In addition to that, low vaccination rates in the State and Region can create the breeding ground for additional variants to develop.”
MANA operates 22 clinics in Northwest Arkansas. Bekki Boyd with MANA says the organization is working closely with its employees to develop a plan for getting vaccinated. They are also encouraging all community members to get vaccinated and say that a majority of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 are not vaccinated.
“Healthcare providers need to lead in this area and hopefully other employers will follow to increase vaccination rates to keep this virus under control,” said Dr. Moseley.