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Just curious. Are we going to house vaccinated and unvaccinated people in different buildings when we come back to work? Are we going to tell the unvaccinated that they have to stay virtual until they get vaccinated?

FTA

Today, we got big announcements from both HIMSS and HLTH about their health and safety plans (for their upcoming conferences)

The big news from each conference organizer was they would both be mandating proof of COVID vaccination to be able to attend the event live. Of course, they’ll both have virtual options for those that don’t want to be vaccinated or can’t be vaccinated.

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I go on. Will there be vaccinated and unvaccinated sections of a stadium at events? The NBA may be able to do that, can the local theatre, how about high school orchestra events?

I'm just asking the question. 

HIMSS21 and HLTH to Require Proof of COVID Vaccination at Upcoming In-Person Events

Transcript

This transcription is provided by artificial intelligence. We believe in technology but understand that even the most intelligent robots can sometimes get speech recognition wrong.

  Today in Health it, this story is Health and HIMS announced vaccine requirement for in-person attendance. My name is Bill Russell. I'm a former CIO for a 16 hospital system and creator of this week in Health IT a channel dedicated to keeping health IT staff current and engaged. I wanna thank our sponsor for today's Sirius Healthcare.

They reached out about this time last year and said we love what you're doing and really appreciate your mission to develop the next generation of health leaders. The rest is history and they have been a sponsor ever since. If you believe in our mission and wanna support our show, please shoot me a note at partner at this week in health it.com.

All right, here's today's story. This comes from Healthcare IT Today, which is John Lin's publication, and he wrote an article and the article's entitled HIMSS 21 in Health to Require Proof of Covid Vaccination at Upcoming in-Person events. Here's some excerpts. Today we got a big announcement from both Hims and Health about their health and safety plans for the HIMSS 21 conference happening August 9th through the 13th in 2021 in Las Vegas and Health 2021 Conference happening October 17th through the 20th this year as well in Boston.

The big news for each conference organizer was that they would both be mandating proof of Covid vaccination to be able to attend the event live. Of course, they'll both have virtual options for those that don't want to be vaccinated or can't be vaccinated for whatever reason. In the health announcement they said they'd be working with Clear's Health Pass a free mobile experience on the Clear App to allow attendees to submit proof of vaccination.

HIMSS is still evaluating solutions and their FAC said the following. HIMSS is evaluating validation solutions with the focus on accessible privacy preserving technologies. We'll provide attendees, exhibitors, and HIM staff further guidance in the coming weeks on accepted Proof of Validation solutions.

They both are offering a virtual experience as well that don't require vaccination, but I think we've all come to realize that virtual can't replace many of the things we gain from being there in person, and that is one of the main points as part of their announcements. Health and HIMSS both commented on what their mask policy will be at the events.

Here's Health's comments on the masks. It is our hope that we will be able to make the wearing of masks a personal decision and minimize social distancing restrictions throughout the Health 21 Conference, including the evening networking events. All decisions will be based upon guidance from state and local leadership, as well as best practices determined by the CD.

C. And here's HIMSS Fac in regards to mask wearing for HIMSS 21. HIMSS is currently assessing evolving public health guidance regarding the use of masks in large gatherings. We will provide additional guidance on mask wearing on the HIMSS 21 campus on or before July 19th, 2021. Seems like both are kind of deferring that decision until later, which makes sense since many things are still changing as far as state and local guidelines.

Along with national guidelines. All right, so that's enough from the story that gives you the gist of what's going on. You know, here's my so what on this, and it could be controversial. It's up to you whether it's controversial or not. I'm just really stating my opinion and it's, I. My opinion, I've been told to rely on science.

The CDC is the arbiter of science. At least that's what I was told. And here's what the CDC said just this past week, if you're fully vaccinated against COVID, 19, as in you've gotten all your shots and waited two weeks, the US CDC announced Thursday. You can mostly go ahead and stop wearing your masks and stop social distancing inside and out.

Fully vaccinated people can resume activities without wearing a mask or physically distancing except where required by federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial laws, rules and regulations, and including local businesses and workplace guidance. The CDC now says. There are some important exceptions we'll get into below, and I'm pulling that from an NPR article on the CDC D'S announcement.

The same NPR article goes on later to talk about the science was the change based on science. So this is a question that was asked. CDC says that, yes, this decision was based on the current state of the pandemic in the US along with evidence that vaccines are extremely effective in the real world, that science in conjunction with all of the

Epidemiologic data that we have really says now is the moment. C, D, C director. Rochelle Walinski told NPR on Thursday. Walinski notes that the number of cases hospitalizations and deaths in the US have declined significantly in recent weeks. That suggests that because of vaccination and because some people are immune because of previous infection.

With the coronavirus, the pandemic is gradually coming under control. WILENSKY has also cited several recent studies of healthcare workers as evidence that vaccines provide excellent protection against disease. One CDC Study published Friday found that across 33 sites vaccinated healthcare professionals.

We're much less likely to get sick with COVID-19 than those who were unvaccinated. Another recent study conducted at a major medical center in Israel followed about 5,500 fully vaccinated workers for two months. Of those, just eight developed any COVID-19 symptoms such as fevers or headaches. Another 19 tested positive for the virus even though they had no symptoms.

This rate of infection was significantly higher for workers who chose to not be vaccinated. It's hard to compare that very low rate of infection directly with the risk. To the general public. These workers were at a much higher risk for infection because they worked in a hospital, but they also wore masks which limited their exposure.

Most people who do get infected despite having been vaccinated, are very unlikely to develop serious illness. The evidence suggests most have no symptoms at all or milder symptoms. However, these so-called breakthrough infections have occasionally resulted in hospitalizations and deaths, so the risk is not zero.

There are those people who don't want to take that bit of risk. Dr. Anthony Fauci, president Biden's Chief Medical Advisor, said on Thursday. In the press briefing announcing the new guidelines, these people may decide to continue wearing masks, he said, and there's nothing wrong with that and they shouldn't be criticized.

Alright, so getting back to the hymns and health announcements, the opinions on this move will be all over the board. My take on this is that we don't have to bend the curve anymore. There are almost no hotspots in the us. Everyone who wants to get the vaccine has access to the vaccine. Those who have had the vaccine are not immune.

But the risk is minimal to get the virus and reduces the symptoms of the virus significantly. In a majority of cases, we have now reduced the risk of severe illness or dying from the virus for the vaccinated to about the risk we accept on a daily basis. Whenever we leave the house. Those who wish can continue to wear masks.

That's great and it's, it can become a new norm as it is in several other countries. That is a choice, and it is a healthy choice for protection for you and those around you. We need to start getting back together. There's no doubt that that is the case. We are not wired to live in fear. We embrace risk at various levels in our culture and society.

We send people into space on top of rockets loaded with highly explosive flammable materials. These people choose this because that is how we move forward. Clinicians around the world combated this virus on the front lines. When we knew very little about it, they accepted a level of risk leading to death in service to their neighbors and humanity.

Covid is a part of our reality at this point, and we will not eradicate it. We can't eradicate it. Even if we had herd immunity in the US we would have to stand up a bubble around our country to ensure no new cases entered the country, something we aren't going to do. So these two organizations have come up with the vaccination requirement to attend in person.

You have to be for this, right? This makes perfect sense. Well, I'm not really for this. The vaccinated are in little danger even when they're around the unvaccinated. However, the unvaccinated are at risk. It was their choice to take on that risk. There is no law against not being vaccinated, and that is a curious thing.

We have seatbelt laws. Why is this different? Because we don't legislate that people have to put something into their body. It is interesting that the, the president, both Trump and Biden, did not issue an order to have all military people have to get the vaccine in order to serve. That order was never issued.

The reason is because there's a history and neither had the stomach to require our service people to get vaccinated. By order of the commander in chief, people get to choose what they do with their own body. I. For the same reason I'm not for the politicization of mask wearing. I am not for slapping the Scarlet letter on the unvaccinated and denying them access to events.

They have access to the vaccine. They know the risks, they know the science, and they have made a choice. We need to honor that choice and not cut them off from opportunities in society. I also want to note that this is in direct contradiction to what we're gonna be doing in the rest of society. , right?

When we go back to work, we're not gonna say, okay, the vaccinated go sit in these cubes and the unvaccinated go sit in this building over here. We would never do that. We would never think of that. So we have to get creative as employers. As managers of how we're gonna bring these people together. 'cause there's gonna be people on your staff that are vaccinated and unvaccinated.

We have to figure this out. And so to just create the illusion that we can separate these two areas of society and give less opportunities to the unvaccinated and more opportunities to the vaccinated is just kind of . Antithetical to who we are. We don't live in fear. We find solutions. We address problems head on.

That's what we do. This is a workaround. I just don't like it. You may agree, you may disagree. It's just my opinion. I just wanna get the conversation started and hopefully I've done that. That's all for today. If you know of someone that might benefit from our channel, please forward them a note. They can subscribe on our website this week, health.com or wherever you listen to podcasts.

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