ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (WFLA) – Employees at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital in St. Petersburg, and all the other hospitals under the Johns Hopkins umbrella will be required to have the COVID-19 vaccination by Sept.1.
Employees with religious or medical reasons that would prevent them from receiving the vaccine will be required to request an exemption.
Workers going into the hospital on Wednesday night hadn’t heard about the new mandate, but were not opposed to it. Taylor Arellano is a healthcare worker.
“As healthcare employees, we are the example. We are the role model,” said Arellano. “So being required, I don’t think, you know we’ve had the flu shot required for years.”
Nicole Magazino also works at the hospital.
“I agree with it. I don’t see anything wrong with it,” said Magazino, dressed in her blue scrubs. “We’ve had the flu shot for a while being mandatory, so it’s a step in the right direction. “
Liz Vandendriessche, Assistant Director of Public Relations, Media Relations, and Corporate Communications with Johns Hopkins Medicine released the following statement:
“COVID-19 vaccines are central to the effort to end the COVID-19 pandemic. Like many other healthcare organizations, Johns Hopkins Medicine has identified widespread vaccination as a necessary step in ensuring the safety of our staff, our patients, and our community. For that reason, all Johns Hopkins Medicine personnel, including those in clinical and non-clinical positions, will be required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by September 1, 2021. Exemptions from this policy will be provided to those who indicate a medical or religious reason. All Johns Hopkins Medicine staff will continue to be required to wear masks and appropriate PPE on campus, and patients will be required to wear masks inside buildings until otherwise noted.”
In Texas, more than 170 Houston Methodist Hospital employees were suspended without pay for the next two weeks after not complying with the hospital’s COVID-19 vaccine requirement.
Charles Gallagher, a local attorney and legal expert, doesn’t think Johns Hopkins Medical will run into that much resistance.
“I don’t think there will be too much traction, or too much success with folks that are going to try and challenge that employment requirement.,” said Gallagher. “I think when you look at the underlying reason for this, the underlying basis, where more do you want to have a pristine, clean, germ-free environment than a hospital? “
John’s Hopkins Medical is allowing employees to request a vaccine exemption for religious or medical reasons.