COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations are once again climbing nationwide, and we’re seeing slight, but continuous increases in Maryland. This along with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s finding that the virus can be prevalent in the airways of vaccinated people and thus spread faster, mean that there is more work to do.
Since COVID vaccines became available last December, health care workers were first in line to receive them and have collectively encouraged vaccination with their teammates and our communities.
Encouragement has gotten us to a good but not great level—about 55% of Marylanders are fully vaccinated.
Increasingly, employers are weighing whether to make vaccination—the best defense against this pandemic—compulsory. In Maryland, Johns Hopkins Medicine and the University of Maryland Medical System were first to announce their own requirements, followed soon after by several other hospitals and systems – Meritus Health, Frederick Health, Adventist HealthCare, Luminis Health, GBMC, ChristianaCare.
National systems Trinity and Ascension, represented in Maryland by Holy Cross and St. Agnes, respectively, have set their own dates by which employees must be vaccinated. And other Maryland hospitals are making similar plans.
MHA’s fieldwide consensus statement
that accompanied the initial moves by members was the first in the nation issued by a state hospital association and has since been emulated by many others. The Health Facilities Association of Maryland, representing the majority of post-acute care beds in the state, last Thursday signed on to the pro-vaccination declaration
of their national body.
Hospitals play a vitally important leadership role in your communities. Tying vaccination to employment ensures that Marylanders are safer and healthier. Keep up the good work!
President & CEO