MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (WBOY) — A COVID-19 vaccine is no longer required to work at WVU Medicine as of Friday, Aug. 4.

A WVU Medicine spokesperson said that the change comes after a federal rule change withdrawing the COVID-19 vaccination mandate for healthcare workers went into effect.

The spokesperson also said:

As a result of this change, WVU Medicine employees, including new hires, are no longer required to receive a COVID-19 vaccine; however, vaccination is still encouraged. COVID-19 vaccines are a safe and effective defense against the virus. As always, vaccine guidance and regulations are subject to change and can evolve based on community spread.

Former employees who separated because they refused to meet the requirement are eligible to reapply to open positions within the organization to be considered for re-employment.

The rule repealing the vaccine requirement was published in the Federal Register by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services on June 5 and went into effect Aug. 4.

WVU Medicine’s COVID vaccine mandate went into effect for West Virginia employees on March 15, 2022.