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Can I Request A Vaccinated Caregiver At The Cleveland Clinic?

Cleveland Heights resident Carrie, who reached out to Ideastream Public Media, says she is 73 years old and in a high-risk group. She expressed concern that she is being put in a position of interacting with unvaccinated caregivers at Cleveland Clinic. [Cleveland Clinic]

What are your questions about the coronavirus vaccine?

Ideastream Public Media's health team is answering as many questions as possible, with help from local experts in a range of fields. You can  send us your questions with our online form, through our social media  group, or call us at  216-916-6476. We'll  keep the answers coming on our website and on the air.

Carrie from Cleveland Heights wrote to Ideastream Public Media about the Cleveland Clinic's lack of a vaccine mandate for employees: "As a Cleveland Clinic patient who just had hip surgery, I now worry about my appointments there and wonder if I need to ask every care worker I come in contact with if they have been vaccinated before I let them interact with me, since at 73 I am in a high-risk group. If they are not, do I then request a vaccinated care worker to take their place? Should I need to be put in this position in a medical facility?"

Cleveland Clinic spokesperson Andrea Pacetti said no, the hospital system will not allow patients to request specific caregivers who have been vaccinated. 

Pacetti said 80 percent of their caregivers are vaccinated, and that there are protocols in place to keep patients safe from COVID-19 during appointments and hospital stays, such as sanitization, mask mandates, and physical distancing. 

Cleveland Clinic will continue to educate employees on the benefits of the vaccine, she said.

Cleveland Clinic president Dr. Tom Mihaljevic has said staffing shortages are one of the reasons they haven’t instituted a vaccine mandate for employees. 

MetroHealth and the Cleveland VA Medical Center both have vaccine madates for employees, but University Hospitals and the Cleveland Clinic chose not to require the vaccine for employment. 

lisa.ryan@ideastream.org | 216-916-6158