If you work for Hackensack Merdian Health in New Jersey, you might have received an email from the company telling you to get vaccinated or possibly risk suspension or worse, termination.
“HMH is committed to a culture of safety. Over the past year, we have used every tool at our disposal to protect patients and team members from COVID-19. Since December this has included a massive vaccination effort that we have helped lead across our network and the entire state of New Jersey,” Hackensack Meridian CEO Bob Garrett said in an email that was sent to staffers. “Effective October 1, HMH will require all team members, physicians, volunteers, vendors and consultants to be vaccinated against COVID-19 – receiving at least one dose of either Pfizer, Moderna, or J&J and the second dose of Pfizer or Moderna by November 15.”
The message was sent to employees, hailed as front-line heroes during the pandemic that risked their own lives to save the lives of others. Now, those who remain unvaccinated could face termination, even if they had previously contracted the virus and have natural antibodies.
Vendors who work for the healthcare network will also be required to be fully vaccinated by the target date. The network has not yet said whether or not patients for inpatient and outpatient services would be required to vaccinate before receiving medical treatments.
“COVID-19 vaccines are proven to be safe and highly effective at preventing transmission, hospitalizations and death from the virus. Over the past year, we have used every tool at our disposal to protect patients and team members from COVID-19,” Hackensack Meridian Health Chief Physician Executive Dr. Daniel Varga said. “More than 70 percent of our team members are vaccinated. We are requiring vaccinations for all team members to help stop the spread of this deadly virus and keep our patients, team members and visitors safe. Mandatory vaccinations are the best way to achieve herd immunity and protect our communities from the deadly variants that are threatening to wreak havoc in the months ahead. They’re our best shot at defeating this pandemic once and for all, saving lives and returning to normal.”