HOUSTON - Texas Children’s Hospital announced Wednesday that it will require all members of its workforce to get vaccinated against COVID-19.
They must receive their first vaccine dose by 5 p.m. September 21 and their second dose by 5 p.m. October 19, if receiving the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine.
Texas Children's says the requirement applies to all workforce members, including full-time employees, part-time employees, medical staff, per diem employees and contractors.
Exemptions will be allowed for certain religious beliefs or medical conditions that may preclude a team member from receiving a COVID-19 vaccine.
In a news release, Texas Children's "bold action is need" as the area faces a surge in COVID-19 cases due to the Delta variant and also an unusual summer surge of patients diagnosed with respiratory syncytial virus.
"We recognize the profound and encouraging truth that getting vaccinated against COVID-19 is safe, effective and the primary mechanism to combat this pandemic," said 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."
Texas Children's says they are among the few children's hospitals nationwide leading 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," Texas Children's said in the news release.
Texas Children's encourages everyone who is eligible to get vaccinated against COVID-19.