Emerson Hospital recently announced that all staff and physicians, regardless of their role, must be vaccinated against COVID-19 by November 1, 2021, as a condition of employment.
“Thanks to the vaccine, we have made great strides in reducing cases and saving lives,” said Christine Schuster, president and CEO of Emerson Hospital, in a memo to staff. “Unfortunately, the vaccination rate has plateaued, which has stalled the fight against this insidious virus. New variants are infecting unvaccinated individuals at an alarming rate across the country. We must take action.”
Emerson Hospital currently has high COVID-19 vaccination rates, with more than 85 percent of staff and around 93 percent of physicians fully vaccinated. The new COVID-19 vaccine requirement will apply to all staff and physicians at Emerson Hospital and all outpatient practices throughout the health system and remote workers. The influenza vaccine will also once again be mandatory.
“We have worked together throughout the pandemic to care for our communities. The science is clear. Vaccination against COVID-19 is the most effective way to prevent the spread of the virus. As caregivers, we must provide the safest possible environment for our patients and staff,” she said.
Like other Massachusetts health systems, Emerson Hospital’s vaccination requirement will be implemented on November 1, regardless of FDA authorization. Staff requiring medical or religious exemptions are considered on a case-by-case basis.