ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10)- Albany Medical Center said it will require all employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19. They said its policy will apply to doctors, nurses, employees with clinical or nonclinical responsibilities, as well as contractors, college, and support staff.

The hospital said after offering the vaccine to its employees, more than 80% of them are fully vaccinated. Unvaccinated employees have until October 1 before they will have to be fully vaccinated.

They said if booster shots become necessary, Albany Med will require employees to get those as well. They will approve exemptions and deferrals for a limited time. Employees who do not show proof of vaccination, get an exemption, or deferral face termination.

“The vaccines have proven to safely and effectively prevent Covid-19 and have reduced symptomatic infections and hospitalizations in breakthrough cases. Yet as the highly contagious Delta variant of the virus spreads, broad vaccination has become even more critical, especially for those who work in health care settings,” Albany Med said.

We have followed the science from day one, and 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. As more of us got vaccinated, the number of hospitalizations finally began to drop. But we continue to care for Covid patients; the majority of whom are not vaccinated. My colleagues have worked so hard to protect each other and the people we serve, and we must continue to lead by example. I thank all my colleagues for their untiring efforts and urge every member of our workforce—and our neighbors in the community—to get vaccinated. The vaccine is safe. It will put the pandemic behind us.

Dr. Dennis P. McKenna
Albany Med President and CEO