Penn Medicine, the region’s largest health system, will require all employees and clinical staff to be vaccinated against COVID-19.
Current employees should be vaccinated no later than Sept. 1, while new hires will have to show proof of vaccination starting July 1 and get vaccinated two weeks prior to beginning work if they haven’t done so already.
The directive was sent to employees by the office of Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania CEO Regina Cunningham.
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“As an industry grounded in the science and art of healthcare, we believe it is imperative for the UPHS to take the lead in requiring vaccinations to protect our patients and to set an example for those who remain hesitant both within our institution and the broader community,” the email read.
The communiqué cited the effectiveness of vaccines, while noting that nearly 70% of all UPHS clinical staff and employees – more than 33,000 people – have been fully vaccinated with “no serious side effects.”
Employees who can’t get vaccinated for medical or religious reasons will be allowed to apply for an exemption, but there is no guarantee the exemptions will be granted. After Sept. 1, workers who aren’t vaccinated or have not received an exemption will be subject to discipline or sanctions that could ultimately keep them from continuing to work with the company.