Nemours Children’s Health System, which operates A.I. duPont Hospital for Children in Wilmington, has become the third healthcare network in Delaware to require COVID-19 vaccinations for employees.
The healthcare network announced in a press release Friday that all employees must receive the first dose of a two-dose Pfizer or Moderna vaccine or single dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine by Sept. 1, 2021.
The policy applies to all employees, including remote workers, contractors, students, temporary staff and volunteers.
Vaccine exemptions only will be allowed for specific medical conditions and religious beliefs.
All associates must have their second dose, or have an approved exemption request on file, by Oct. 6, 2021. Associates who fail to meet the deadline will have their employment terminated.
“As we face the challenges of a troubling resurgence of COVID-19 across the nation, we need to do everything we can to keep our pediatric patients and associates safe,” said Dr. Maureen Leffler, chief wellness officer at Nemours, in a press release. “Especially given all children under 12 years of age are still ineligible for vaccination, the best way to protect our patient families, and to save lives in the communities we serve, is through vaccination of those who are eligible.”
With the announcement, Nemours becomes the third major healthcare provider in Delaware to require vaccinations for employees. The company follows in the footsteps of Trinity Health, which operates St. Francis Hospital in Wilmington, as well as ChristianaCare, which operates hospitals in Newark, Wilmington and Elkton, Maryland.
The updated policy comes as the CDC upgraded New Castle County from moderate to substantial level of community transmission and Kent and Sussex Counties from substantial to high risk.
As of Friday, Delaware has 71 COVID-related hospitalizations statewide and an average of 147 new cases per day for the last week.