Blog
Aug 11
Why Capital Region, U.S. Hospitals Are Requiring Staff to Get COVID-19 Vaccines

More than 1,500 hospitals across the U.S. and all hospitals in the Capital Region now require staff to be vaccinated against COVID-19. Saratoga Hospital is proud to be among them. We are convinced that requiring the vaccine is the best way to protect every member of our team and our community.

Throughout the pandemic, Capital Region hospitals have joined forces to take on one of the greatest public health challenges in recent history. To that end, this week the following hospitals issued a consensus statement highlighting our decision to require COVID-19 vaccinations:

  • Albany Med Health System
    • Albany Medical Center Hospital
    • Columbia Memorial Health
    • Glens Falls Hospital
    • Saratoga Hospital
  • Ellis Medicine
  • Nathan Littauer Hospital
  • St. Mary’s Hospital – Amsterdam
  • St. Peter’s Health Partners
    • St. Peter’s Hospital
    • Samaritan Hospital
    • Sunnyview Rehabilitation Hospital

Our position is based on proof that the vaccine is safe and highly effective in preventing COVID-19 and, in rare breakthrough cases, preventing serious illness. Experts believe the vaccine also keeps the virus from spreading. The more people get vaccinated, the stronger the protection for others who are at increased risk of contracting the virus due to underlying health conditions. The vaccine is also widely available. There are few if any barriers to access with scheduled and pop-up clinics offered daily

Healthcare workers treat the most vulnerable members of our communities. Requiring a COVID-19 vaccine demonstrates a commitment to protect the safety and health of all patients, visitors, co-workers, and our own families. Healthcare organizations are also among the largest employers in the Capital Region. The health of our colleagues directly correlates to the health of the entire community. 

In a recent news release, Saratoga Hospital President and CEO Angelo Calbone said, ““The evidence is clear: These vaccines save lives. We feel strongly that they must be part of any response to one of the most dangerous health threats in our lifetimes.”

The number of patients hospitalized for COVID-19 declined as more people became vaccinated. But in late July, the rate began to increase, and the overwhelming majority of hospitalized patients with COVID-19 had not received the vaccine.

“The delta variant has arrived in our region, and COVID-19 cases are rising, especially among those who have not been vaccinated,” Calbone said. “From the beginning, we’ve emphasized that we’re all in this together. That includes getting vaccinated for the good of our community.”

More than half the U.S. population has been fully vaccinated as of Aug. 9. Nearly 60% of New Yorkers and more than 60% of Capital Region residents have completed the vaccine series.

Each Capital Region hospital will develop its own set of limited exemptions and deferrals. We encourage other healthcare providers to require the vaccine for the health and safety of our communities. We also believe those requirements should be enacted as soon as possible. 
 


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