Lurie Children's Hospital to require COVID-19 vaccine for all employees
CHICAGO - Lurie Children's Hospital in Chicago announced Monday that its workforce of over 7,500 must be vaccinated against COVID-19 by October 18.
The hospital released a statement saying the requirement applies to all employees, students, contractors, badged vendors and volunteers, and proof of vaccination will be required as a condition of employment, as it does with other vaccines.
The vaccination requirement comes on the heels of rising hospitalizations and COVID-19 cases around the nation and Illinois, particularly of the highly transmissible Delta variant.
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"The safety of our patients, many of whom are too young to receive the vaccination, and our workforce is our top priority. This vaccination requirement stresses our commitment to the community to help slow and stop the spread of COVID-19," said Thomas Shanley, MD, President & CEO, Lurie Children’s.
Those with approved medical or religious reasons may be exempt from the requirement, the hospital said.
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Lurie Children's has required vaccination for seasonal flu and other contagious diseases, the statement said.
"As healthcare professionals caring for children and adolescents, this COVID vaccine requirement is the responsible thing to do and will provide reassurance to the patients and families we serve. We must do everything we can to end this pandemic and save lives," Shanley said.
The hospital currently serves as a clinical trial site for the Moderna vaccine.