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SC pharmaceutical company to mandate employee vaccines

Nephron Pharmaceuticals Corp. to require employees to be fully vaccinated or start a two-dose vaccine by August 27

COLUMBIA, S.C. — A South Carolina pharmaceutical company that has offered COVID-19 vaccines since February will now require all of its own employees to get inoculated. 

Nephron Pharmaceuticals Corp. will mandate all of its nearly 2,000 workers be fully vaccinated or have started a two-dose vaccine series by August 27 and be completely vaccinated no later than September 30, 2021.

In an email sent Monday morning, Nephron CEO Lou Kennedy said, "Time after time, we have the chance to step up during an unprecedented time in health care history and aid the response to COVID-19. Sometimes that means working long hours to fill big orders. Other times it means providing tests and vaccines to our neighbors. Anytime we have the chance to step up, we embrace it -- and celebrate.

"Now, we have another chance to step up - and celebrate. As COVID-19 cases, driven by the deadly serious Delta variant, continue to impact communities and businesses alike, we can be one of the first businesses of our size to have a fully-vaccinated workforce."

In addition to current employees being vaccinated, all new hires at Nephron must supply proof of vaccination before their first official day of employment and all visitors, vendors and guests will be required to be vaccinated in order to enter the company's property. 

The company's vaccine mandate does provide for exemptions. 

Nephron's new vaccination policy comes as South Carolina is experiencing a surge in COVID-19 cases. SC's Department of Health and Environmental Control reported on Friday, August 13, that there were over 3,500 new cases in the state with 15 COVID-related deaths. 

A growing number of hospitals in the state have begun requiring the shots for workers, but the vast majority of companies in South Carolina have not. 

Less than half of eligible state residents have been fully vaccinated.