University Hospitals reinstates employee COVID-19 vaccination mandate following SCOTUS ruling
University Hospitals has reinstated its employee COVID-19 vaccination mandate after the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the national health care worker mandate last week.
UH caregivers must receive their first vaccination by Feb. 14 and be fully vaccinated by March 15, according to a statement from the hospital system.
The requirement applies to all employees as well as student trainees, volunteers and independent contractors, the statement reads. Employees may request a medical or religious exemption.
“The overwhelming majority of [caregivers] are vaccinated and we are grateful to them all for their service during this challenging time,” officials said in the statement.
Over the weekend, Cleveland Clinic also reinstated its vaccination mandate following the Supreme Court ruling. All employees are required to receive their first dose of the two-shot Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccines or the one-dose Johnson and Johnson shot by Jan. 27 and be fully vaccinated by Feb. 28, according to a statement.
Cleveland Clinic and UH had paused their employee vaccination requirements after a federal judge issued a preliminary injunction on the federal rule in late November 2021.
MetroHealth instituted a mandate in October 2021, before the federal requirement was imposed, and said on Nov. 1 that 94 percent of employees were vaccinated. The hospital system also suspended 5 employees for not complying.
The Supreme Court said the Biden administration’s mandate was justified by the spending clause of the Constitution, which allows the federal government to impose conditions when it provides funding for programs like Medicaid and Medicare.
The court struck down a separate federal vaccination mandate from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, which had required all companies with more than 100 employees to require vaccinations and weekly COVID-19 testing for unvaccinated employees.
Read the full UH statement below:
“Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court allowed the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) rule requiring COVID-19 vaccinations for health care workers to proceed. University Hospitals is asking its caregivers to receive their first vaccination by Feb. 14, 2022 and, if a two-dose vaccine, the second by March 15, 2022.
This requirement applies to all UH caregivers as well as licensed independent providers; students, trainees, and volunteers; and anyone who provides care, treatment, or other in-person services to UH or its patients under contract or arrangement. Caregivers may request a medical or religious accommodation under the CMS mandate.
COVID-19 vaccines and boosters are the most effective way to protect against severe illness resulting in hospitalization and death. Since the vaccine became available in late 2020, we have encouraged our caregivers to get vaccinated and made vaccines readily available to them. The overwhelming majority of them are vaccinated and we are grateful to them all for their service during this challenging time.”