Jackson County Executive Frank White, Jr. has issued the following statement in response to today’s announcement that Truman Medical Centers/University Health (TMC/UH), Jackson County’s safety-net hospital, is the first system in the region to require all staff to be vaccinated against COVID-19:

“I know that being the first to do something is never easy, but in order for our community to remain strong and continue to grow, we must have leaders who are willing to step up and do what is right regardless of the pushback that might come.

“That’s why today, I am grateful for the leadership of Mr. Charlie Shields and his entire team at Truman Medical Centers/University Health for their decision to require all staff to get vaccinated against COVID-19. At a time when our healthcare workforce continues to battle this deadly disease, which has sadly overwhelmed our state once again, today’s announcement should provide comfort to TMC/UH patients as well as pave a path that others can follow.

“The science is clear – the most effective way to protect yourself and prevent virus spread is to get the vaccine. The health and safety of our community depends on everyone working together and taking personal responsibility. I am hopeful that the action taken by TMC/UH today reminds us all of the seriousness of our current situation, encourages all who are eligible to find a vaccine immediately and is the first of many similar announcements to come.”