Emory Healthcare announced that the university will require employees to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Emory University required all faculty and staff to get the vaccine earlier this year with students previously required to receive the vaccine. Vaccination exemptions will be available including vaccine deferrals for pregnancy and religious reasons.

Emory Healthcare provided a statement to The Atlanta Voice regarding its decision and cited COVID-19 infections rising due to the Delta variant and the community’s low vaccination rates.

“As COVID-19 infections are on the rise, fueled by the Delta variant and our community’s low vaccination rate, Emory Healthcare will require COVID-19 vaccinations for its health care providers and employees, with an expectation for all to receive their vaccinations by Oct. 1, 2021. As this significant spike in infections becomes more serious, we have a commitment to provide a safe environment for both our patients and our care teams,” Emory Healthcare’s statement said. 

Previously, Emory Healthcare wanted to await full FDA approval before requiring providers and employees to receive the vaccine. However, the plan changed due to the rise in COVID cases.

“Initially, we planned on requiring providers and employees to receive the COVID-19 vaccination after full FDA approval, but with the significant rise in COVID cases and hospital admissions — in concert with other health care systems in metro Atlanta — we have reconsidered our plans,” the statement continued. “These vaccines have demonstrated a remarkable safety record after hundreds of millions of administrations given and we feel our decision to require COVID vaccinations for all our team members is the right and best decision from a public health perspective and our strongest defense against the virus.”

Emory Healthcare says it has administered more than 182,000 COVID-19 vaccinations to patients, physicians, staff, university faculty, and students as well as members of the community since December 2020.

Emory Healthcare is requiring employees to get vaccinated reversing a previous stance in the process. ({Photo Credit: File Photo)