Federal government among many organizations requiring vaccination

Aug. 2, 2021

When President Joe Biden announced that every federal government employee will be asked to attest to their vaccination status, the government joined a growing list of organizations requiring vaccination against COVID-19.

In the case of federal employees, anyone who does not attest or is not vaccinated will be required to wear a mask no matter where they work; test one or two times a week to see if they have acquired COVID-19; socially distance; and generally will not be allowed to travel for work.

Following the trend of many healthcare organizations, the Department of Veterans Affairs has said it will now require COVID-19 vaccines for doctors and nurses and other healthcare workers who provide medical care for veterans.

Ascension Health, a Catholic 146-hospital system operating in 22 states and Washington, D.C., also announced last week that it will require that all employees be vaccinated against COVID-19 by November 12, 2021. "This timing is aligned with Ascension’s annual influenza vaccination requirement and we will follow a similar implementation process. In those instances when someone may not be able to get vaccinated due to a medical condition or strongly held religious belief, Ascension will provide a process for requesting an exemption similar to the process we use for the annual influenza vaccine," the system said in a news release.  

Other health systems requiring COVID-19 vaccination for all employees, include 91-hospital Trinity Health, Livonia, MI; 40-hospital Mercy, St. Louis; 30-hospital Banner Health, Phoenix; Henry Ford Health System, Detroit: and Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN — to name just a few. 

With the emergence of the Delta variant, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) now recommends that fully vaccination people wear masks in public indoor areas in locations with a high rate of transmission, which the agency defines as 50 new cases for every 100,000 people in a week.

President Biden said, “The CDC recommends you wear a mask when you’re in public and indoors, like work or in a grocery store. That’s true for both the vaccinated and the unvaccinated. Why? Because even if you’ve been fully vaccinated and protected from severe illness from COVID-19, you could have the Delta variant in your system and spread it to someone who isn’t vaccinated.”

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