Policy aligns with new national strategy to defeat COVID-19 and recommendations from healthcare/hospital associations and hundreds of health care systems across the country
September 16, 2021, Boston, MA – Today, Fenway Health announced a new policy requiring that all employees be vaccinated against COVID-19. Employees may apply for exemption from this new policy for religious or medical reasons.
On September 9, President Biden announced a new national strategy to reduce transmission of COVID-19 and its more contagious Delta variant and save lives.
Among the six components of the plan is a new requirement that employees of health care facilities that receive funding from Medicaid and Medicare be vaccinated against COVID-19. As described in the plan, which is available online, those affected will include “clinical staff, individuals providing services under arrangements, volunteers, and staff who are not involved in direct patient, resident, or client care.”
This important policy decision comports with what health care systems/organizations are already doing in Massachusetts and across the country. In addition, educational institutions and various industries, including airlines, cruise ships, hotels, and others, have made similar requirements of personnel and guests to reduce the spread of COVID-19. It also aligns with Fenway Health’s mission and principles set forth in the Building the Best Workplace Culture framework developed by the Fenway Health Employee Advisory Council to cultivate a healthy, respectful environment for our patients, clients, staff, and board.
“This policy change stems from our firm commitment to maintaining the safety of our patients, staff, and community, and is grounded in the best scientific evidence available,” said Fenway Health CEO Ellen LaPointe. “We will implement our new policy in a way that is respectful of our employees and mindful of the historic legacy of race-based medical experimentation that can make some people – including those who work in health care settings – hesitant to trust new medical interventions and technologies. We all look forward to the day when COVID-19 is a thing of the past, and we believe this is an important step on the path to that goal.”
Fenway Health employees are already required to be vaccinated against other infectious diseases, including the seasonal flu, and must adhere to health and safety protocols across all locations, including use of appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) such as face masks and protective eyewear. To date, over 90 percent of Fenway Health staff have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19.