NEW YORK (CBSNewYork / AP) “The New York Presbyterian hospital system will require all 48,000 employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19 unless they have a valid exemption,” hospital officials said Friday.
“As a leading healthcare organization, we believe it is essential to require vaccinations to protect our patients and ourselves against the threat of further damage from the pandemic and the possibility of more dangerous mutations,” said Dr. Stephen Corwin. and Dr. Laura Fores, president and executive vice president of the hospital’s 10-campus network, said in an email to staff.
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Employees will have to receive their first dose of vaccine by September 1, officials said, with applications for medical or religious exemptions due on August 1.
About 70% of the network’s employees have already been vaccinated, a spokesman said.
The New York-Presbyterian appears to be the first health network in New York to require vaccinations for staff.
Kenneth Raske, president of the Greater New York Hospital Association, said he supported the demand.
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Raske said in a statement that every healthcare organization wants a fully vaccinated workforce, “and some may choose to emulate the mandatory approach.”
New York-Presbyterian’s decision to require vaccinations comes as other hospital systems in the country move to impose vaccine requirements.
This week, the Houston Methodist system suspended 178 employees for refusing to abide by their mandate.
The president of the Houston Method, Dr. Mark Boom, said in a statement that he wanted the number of vaccinated refusals without a valid exemption to be zero, “but unfortunately a small number of people have decided not to put their patients first.”
NYC Health + hospitals have said they will continue to offer COVID vaccines to employees, but do not require it.
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