By Team

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – With COVID surging in South Florida, Baptist Health and Memorial Healthcare are now instituting COVID vaccine mandates.

Baptist is aiming for all employees, medical staff and volunteers to be inoculated by October 31.

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“We owe it to everyone who is on the front lines to do all we can to fight, and stop, this virus- and we know vaccination is the best way to do that,” said Georgi Morales Pipkin, director of communications for Baptist Health.

Memorial Healthcare’s mandatory vaccination window is shorter, requiring its employees to be vaccinated before October 1.

“It’s the only way to overcome COVID-19 and resume a safe and normal way of life,” said Memorial Healthcare System President and CEO Aurelio M. Fernandez, III.

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Jackson Health, one of the first to move forward with a COVID vaccine mandate, is offering employees an incentive of $150 to get inoculated by September 30.

Memorial Health is following suit, offering an $150 recognition bonus to employees fully vaccinated before that October 1 date. But Memorial is taking it a step further, adding that “each staffer is eligible to receive another $100 if the team they are part of is 85% vaccinated by the deadline.”

No word from Baptist on any incentives for staff members who get vaccinated by a certain date.

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Both Memorial and Baptist said there would be medical and religious exemptions. Team