Texas Health Resources on Friday announced a mandatory systemwide COVID-19 vaccination policy for all employees.
The policy is a crucial step to fighting the surging delta variant and will protect both patients and caregivers, administrators said.
Similar to the flu vaccine, being fully vaccinated against COVID-19 will be a condition of employment for all Texas Health employees.
To be considered fully vaccinated, either both shots of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine or the single Johnson and Johnson must be administered. The policy goes into effect Sept. 10.
“As COVID-19 continues to spread throughout our communities, requiring vaccinations is the responsible step forward. The vaccine is safe, it works and it’s a step we can take to protect our community. Safety is always our No. 1 priority,” said Barclay Berdan, FACHE, Texas Health CEO. “Ultimately requiring vaccines for healthcare workers aligns with our Mission, our Values, and our commitment to keep patients and each other safe.”
The decision follows that made of a multidisciplinary group of nearly 60 organizations, including the American Hospital Association, American Nursing Association, American Medical Association and Texas Nurses Association, supporting policies that mandate immunizations against preventable diseases.
The group that recommended mandating COVID vaccines for all individuals who work for hospital systems also included pharmacy organizations, as well as public health, epidemiology, oncology, surgery, psychiatric and other specialties.
The recommendation cites the need for healthcare worker vaccination to protect their own health as well as that of patients.
Per the new policy, every employee will need to have received full dose(s) of COVID vaccine Sept. 10. This also applies to physicians and advanced practice providers on the medical staffs, students, vendors and contractors who work at any Texas Health location.
“We are taking this proactive step as our community faces increasing cases due in large part to low vaccination rates and the surging delta variant,” Berdan said. “I encourage all North Texans to get vaccinated and take proactive measures to stay healthy, including wearing a mask.”
North Texans can learn more about the vaccines and how to get one at TexasHealth.org/GetYourVaccine.