Local health providers implementing or considering vaccine requirement for employees

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CAPITAL REGION, N.Y. (NEWS10) – As more health providers across the country mandate employees receive the COVID-19 vaccine, local hospitals are implementing, or considering, a vaccine requirement.

On Thursday, St. Peter’s joined the growing list of providers requiring immunization, “Trinity was not the first, and certainly won’t be the last,” says Dr. Steven Hanks, the Chief Clinical Officer for St. Peter’s Health Partners.

It comes after Trinity Health, which owns St. Peter’s Health Partners, announced the requirement, giving most employees until late September to get vaccinated.

Hanks says over 90% of workers in acute care are already inoculated, as the health system pushes to get that number to 100%.

“We’re really doing this out of a concern for the safety of our patients, our colleagues and all of the loved ones that we all come into contact with,” he said.

Hanks said some level of apprehension is always expected, but says the mandate is similar to influenza and hepatitis requirement.

Elsewhere in the Capital Region, other providers are considering a mandate, but a final decision hasn’t been made.

In a statement, Albany Med touts that a vast majority of employees are already vaccinated. In part, their statement says, We intend to require vaccination to further protect our staff and others from the virus. We are actively developing a plan.”

“Lots of health systems are doing this, the state of Maryland, all the hospitals in the state of Maryland have decided that they’re going to mandate vaccines. Same thing with hospitals in Washington D.C., so we’ve got to think about this, talk about this, more to come,” Hospital General Director Dr. Ferdinand Venditti said during an Albany Med COVID update earlier this month.

The New York State Nurses Association, which represents the nurses at Albany Med, says in part, “NYSNA strongly opposes the mandatory vaccination of health care providers for COVID-19 as a condition of employment.”

When asked a potential vaccine requirement, Ellis Medicine, which is also in negotiations with Trinity Health, says they’re in exploratory mode and haven’t reached a decision.

In terms, of legality, last month a federal judge struck down a lawsuit from employees at a Texas hospital over their decision to require the shot.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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