In response to the ongoing summer surge, risk of the Delta variant, and an increase in patients diagnosed with RSV, Texas Children’s Hospital announced it will require all members of its workforce to be vaccinated against COVID-19.
“We recognize the profound and encouraging truth that getting vaccinated against COVID-19 is safe, effective and the primary mechanism to combat this pandemic,” says Mark A. Wallace, president and CEO of Texas Children’s. “By taking this step, we are further protecting the health of our team members, patients and community. As one of the nation’s largest and top-rated children’s hospitals, it is our responsibility to take a stand and protect those who place their trust in us, many of whom are not yet eligible to receive the vaccine. We look forward to the FDA fully authorizing the COVID-19 vaccines in the near future.”
The hospital is among the few children’s hospitals nationwide leading in the effort to vaccinate all children against COVID-19. Pfizer’s phase II/III trials continue at Texas Children’s and the current surge underscores the importance of completing these trials and safely vaccinating those under 12 as soon as possible. Emergency Use Authorization for children ages 5 to 11-years-old is also anticipated in the coming weeks following the FDA’s review of the trial data.
All workforce members, including full-time employees, part-time employees, medical staff, per diem employees and contractors must receive their first vaccine dose by 5 p.m. on Sept. 21, 2021. If receiving the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, the second dose must be received by 5 p.m. on Oct. 19, 2021. Workforce members may receive their COVID-19 vaccine through Texas Children’s or any provider, pharmacy or facility of their choice.
Exemptions are permitted for certain religious beliefs or medical conditions that may preclude a team member from receiving a COVID-19 vaccine.