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OVERLAND PARK, Kan. — Employees at three Kansas City-area hospitals and other area clinics will not be required to get a COVID-19 vaccine. At least not yet.

HCA Healthcare owns Overland Park Regional Medical Center, Research Medical Center and Menorah Medical Center.

A spokesperson for the health system said it had not required COVID-19 vaccinations until the federal government announced a mandate requiring staff at facilities that participate in the Medicare and Medicaid programs to be vaccinated.

But with pending lawsuits and rulings involving the mandate, HCA Healthcare and HCA Midwest Health said it plans to wait and see what the courts decide.

“Because recent federal court decisions have resulted in the CMS mandate being put on hold indefinitely, we have paused our vaccine requirement, except in states that have mandated vaccination,” Christine Hamele, HCA Midwest Health spokeswoman, said.

HCA Healthcare said the majority of its health system employees and physicians have been fully vaccinated. The company said it will continue to strongly encourage employees to be fully vaccinated to protect themselves, and others, from the virus.