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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Truman Medical Centers/University Health will require all employees to get vaccinated against COVID-19, the health system announced Monday.

President and CEO Charlie Shields said Truman Medical will be the Kansas City region’s first medical center to make the requirement.

The entire Truman Medical staff will have to get vaccinated by September 20.

“TMC/UH wants to ensure we are doing everything possible to keep our patients, our workforce, and our community safe. In doing so, we recognize the importance of leading by example,” Shields said.

“For that reason, and so the medical center remains able to care for the growing number of patients suffering from COVID-19, the entire workforce at Truman Medical Centers/University Health will be required to be vaccinated by September 20.”

In a statement, Truman Medical said this decision is consistent with long-standing practices that require health care workers to be vaccinated against other serious infectious diseases.

The health system said about 70% of its staff has already been vaccinated against COVID-19, well above Missouri’s vaccination rate of 47.2% and the national rate of 56.8%.