ATTLEBORO — While some of the state’s major hospitals have decided to require all employees to be vaccinated against coronavirus, Sturdy Memorial Hospital is still considering the matter.
“Similar to many other hospitals and large healthcare systems in Massachusetts, we are contemplating, but have not finalized a decision on mandating COVID-19 vaccination for our employees,” Sturdy President and CEO Joseph Casey said in an emailed statement to The Sun Chronicle on Friday. “While we’ve seen overwhelming evidence that the COVID-19 vaccines are both safe and effective at preventing severe illness and death from the SARS-CoV-2 virus, we’re awaiting full FDA approval of the vaccines before making a decision related to a vaccination mandate.”
He made the statement in response to news last week that Mass General Brigham, Beth Israel Lahey Health and Wellforce would all require their employees to be vaccinated once the federal Food & Drug Administration issued “full approval” of one or more of the three vaccines now in use.
Those vaccines, which include the two-shot Pfizer and Moderna vaccines and the one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine, are currently being administered under an Emergency Use Authorization.
The hospitals cited patient safety as the main reason.
“Mass General Brigham joins many other leading health care systems in the United States in making COVID-19 vaccination a requirement, ensuring that patients are being cared for in the safest clinical environment possible,” a press release from the hospital said.
Meanwhile, Casey encouraged everyone to get vaccinated.
“At this time, we continue to encourage all who may not yet be vaccinated to do so as soon as possible as vaccination has demonstrated to be one of the best ways to protect ourselves, our families, and our community,” he said.