Why Capital Region, U.S. Hospitals Are Requiring Staff Covid Vaccination
Within the last several weeks, numerous hospitals around the U.S. and all hospitals in the Capital Region have required that their staffs receive the Covid-19 vaccine. St. Mary’s Healthcare has joined with hospitals from the Hudson Valley to the North Country and the Mohawk Valley to ensure all health care workers—from those on the front line to volunteers, students and operations staff—are protected from the virus through vaccination.
To that end, the following hospitals have released a consensus statement:
• Albany Med Health System
– Albany Medical Center Hospital
– Columbia Memorial Health
– Glens Falls Hospital
– Saratoga Hospital
• Ellis Medicine
• Nathan Littauer Hospital
• St. Mary’s Hospital – Amsterdam
• St. Peter’s Health Partners
-St. Peter’s Hospital-Samaritan Hospital
-Sunnyview Rehabilitation Hospital
Their position is based on proof that the vaccine is safe and highly effective at preventing Covid-19 and, in rare breakthrough cases, preventing serious illness. Experts believe the vaccine also keeps the virus from spreading. The more people get vaccinated, the stronger the protection for others who are at increased risk of contracting the virus due to underlying health conditions. The vaccine is also widely available. There are few if any barriers to access with scheduled and pop-up clinics occurring daily in many places.
Click HERE to view the consensus statement.
Health care workers treat the most vulnerable members of our communities. Requiring a Covid-19 vaccine demonstrates a commitment to protect the safety and health all patients, visitors, coworkers, and our own families. Health care organizations are also among the largest employers in the Capital Region. The health of our colleagues directly correlates to the health of the entire community.
In a news release, Albany Med President and CEO Dennis P. McKenna, M.D., said, “The science tells us that the vaccine works. Our staff has witnessed first-hand the unforgiving impact of the coronavirus on nearly every aspect of our lives and, in too many cases, on life itself.
The number of patients hospitalized for Covid-19 declined as more people became vaccinated. But in late July, the rate began to increase, and the overwhelming majority of patients with Covid-19 had not received the vaccine.
“There is no greater priority right now than to ensure the safety of each other, and for those who rely on us for safe care, often when they are most vulnerable,” says William Mayer, MD, Chief Medical Officer of St. Mary’s Healthcare.” By getting vaccinated against Covid-19 we better protect those who are unable to get vaccinated which includes our children under 12. It’s our duty to inform our community that we have the tool to defeat this virus, and it is readily available to them.”
More than half of the U.S. population has been fully vaccinated as of Aug. 9, 2021. Nearly 60 percent of New Yorkers and more than 60 percent of Capital Region residents have completed the vaccine series.
Capital Region hospitals encourage other health care providers to require the vaccine for the health and safety of their communities. They believe those requirements should be made as soon as possible.
Each of these organizations will develop its own set of limited exemptions and deferrals for consideration.