Story at a glance
- The District of Columbia Hospital Association will require all hospital staffers to get vaccinated in a bid to reduce transmission.
- Exemptions will be made for medical or religious reasons.
- Other cities have made similar strides.
Hospitals in the District of Columbia will require their employees and clinical team members to be vaccinated against COVID-19.
The District of Columbia Hospital Association released a statement on Wednesday noting a District-wide consensus that encompasses almost all of the health systems and hospitals within Washington, D.C.
Each hospital will be instructed to set dates after which vaccination against COVID-19 will be a condition of employment for both full time and contract employees.
Exemptions will be made for religious or medical circumstances.
“This important step helps ensure the safety and well-being of District hospital employees, patients, and visitors,” the statement reads.
The decision was reportedly made based on promising vaccine data that shows the benefits of vaccination outweigh the risks of a COVID-19 infection.
“The District’s hospitals have seen first-hand the devastation COVID-19 has caused to the people of the District and the region,” the consensus statement from June 2021 reads. “They understand how deadly this disease can be. Leaders at the District’s hospitals and health systems are stepping up to protect the health and wellness of their communities.”
To date, about 70 percent of hospital employees have been fully vaccinated.
“The District of Columbia is blessed with a hospital workforce of over 30,000 individuals that provided and continue to provide compassionate and quality care throughout the pandemic,” said Jacqueline D. Bowens, President and CEO of the District of Columbia Hospital Association. “This consensus is a reiteration of our hospitals’ commitment to safety by keeping our staff, patients and visitors protected against COVID-19.”
Other hospital systems in the country have taken similar steps. The Houston Methodist Hospital required mandatory vaccinations of its employees in April, which will apply to 15 facilities in the Texas city.