ChristianaCare joins health systems from around the country requiring staff to take the COVID vaccine.
Trinity Health, the parent company of St. Francis Hospital in Wilmington, was the first Delaware health care provider to make the move to require vaccinations among its staff.
ChristianaCare announced Thursday that all of its caregivers, including nonmedical staff, must receive the first dose of a two-dose vaccine or the single dose Johnson & Johnson by September 21.
“I feel really strongly about this,” said Ken Silverstein, ChristianaCare’s chief physician executive. “I follow the science as a physician, and the safety of the vaccine is well established and its protective nature. We know that the American Medical Association, the American Nurses Association, the American Hospital Association—on and on. These societies have come out and are supportive of this approach.”
Silverstein says at least 10,000 of ChristianaCare’s staff have already been vaccinated.
The new vaccine mandate leaves an exemption for certain medical conditions and religious beliefs.
“Mandatory vaccinations are not a new concept,” Silverstein adds. “To me, they’re widely accepted in our society. They’ve been part of public health. Children, adolescents are required to be vaccinated to attend school or play sports. We believe we’ve reached the tipping point. There’s an urgent need to ensure the safety of our community, and that starts with having all of or caregivers vaccinated.”
Bayhealth, Nemours and Beebe Healthcare do not require vaccination and have made no decision to change that policy.