COVID-19 Vaccine Mandate Information

  • On January 13th, the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) vaccine mandate to go into effect nationwide while blocking the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) vaccine requirements from taking effect.
  • ALL employed staff, licensed practitioners, students, trainees, volunteers, and contractors must be fully vaccinated or granted an exemption.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I get my COVID-19 Vaccine (Booster shots too!)?

I want to file a medical exemption. Is there a special form I need to use? Do I need my physician to sign it?

While the state of Iowa does not require a physician’s signature for a medical exemption, the CMS regulation preempts the applicability of any state or local law (i.e., we must follow the CMS regulation). Medical exemptions must include documentation confirming the clinical contraindications to the COVID-19 vaccine and must be signed and dated by a licensed practitioner. You can find the Iowa Department of Public Health Certificate of Exemption – Medical [PDF] form online.

I want to file a religious exemption. Is there a special form I need to use? Do I need to have someone, such as a member of the clergy, sign it?

Religious exemptions are based on sincerely held beliefs. It does not need an attestation from a religious official. You can find the Iowa Department of Public Health Certificate of Exemption – Religious [PDF] form online. Please use a Notary Public outside of the hospital. There are several available in the community, including the UPS Store.

If I don't get vaccinated and I don't submit an exemption, could I lose my job?

Yes. We must have 100 percent of our staff either fully vaccinated or granted an exemption or we risk losing our CMS certification. Loss of certification means loss of reimbursements from Medicare and Medicaid, which make up nearly 60 percent of our revenue.

Is the booster required?

No. At this time, the booster is not part of this regulation.

If I do not get vaccinated and am granted an exemption, am I required to do anything else? In other words, can I still do my job as I normally would as an unvaccinated person?

The CMS ruling is clear that ‘employers must ensure that we minimize the risk of transmission of COVID-19’ and that we must ‘protect employees from retaliation for requesting an exemption’. To minimize the risk of transmission of COVID-19, unvaccinated staff, volunteers, etc. must wear procedural masks while at MGMC, indefinitely. Physical distancing must be observed at times when masks are not worn (such as when eating or drinking).