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St. Jude Children's Research Hospital becomes latest to require staff get COVID-19 vaccine

The Hill logo The Hill 7/15/2021 Jordan Williams
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital becomes latest to require staff get COVID-19 vaccine © getty St. Jude Children's Research Hospital becomes latest to require staff get COVID-19 vaccine

St. Jude Children's Research Hospital has become the latest health care facility to require staff get vaccinated against the coronavirus.

The hospital told The Hill in a statement that St. Jude employees and Memphis-area employees of the American Lebanese Syrian Associated Charities (ALSAC) have to be vaccinated by Sept. 9.

ALSAC fundraises for St. Jude, and the two share a campus.

"As our mission states and as our St. Jude core values echo, we must ensure that advancing treatment for children with catastrophic diseases is at the center of everything we do. This means providing our patients and their families with the safest treatment environment possible," St. Jude said.

"We reached this decision after much research, analysis and discussion. It is the right thing to keep our campus safe. Our duty to our patients frames everything we do. This is the logical next step to ensure we stay one step ahead of the virus," the statement continued.

In a letter sent to employees, St. Jude President and Chief Executive Officer James Downing said that employees who are not vaccinated and do not have a religious or medical exemption will be placed on two weeks unpaid leave, according to WREG.

According to the news outlet, the hospital employs more than 3,600 people.

The Hill has reached out to St. Jude for further comment.

Several hospital systems are requiring vaccination as a condition of employment, while others are waiting for vaccines to receive full approval from the Food and Drug Administration.

A coalition of medical organizations called on health care facilities to mandate vaccinations Tuesday, saying in part "prior experience and current information suggest that a sufficient vaccination rate is unlikely to be achieved without making COVID-19 vaccination a condition of employment."

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