Providence Hospital System Clarifies COVID-19 Vaccine Policy: No Mandates, “Caregivers Can Choose to Decline the Vaccine”
Providence Hospital System has clarified its stance on COVID-19 vaccinations for its employees. The healthcare organization, which operates in seven states and employs over 120,000 people, recently updated its COVID-19 vaccination policy.
The Gateway Pundit previously reported that the healthcare giant announced on its InOurCircle app—a platform designed for employees to “stay up-to-date on company news”—that all workers (including those who are vaccinated and boosted by previous shots) are now required to receive the latest COVID-19 vaccine.
According to the announcement, all employees must receive the latest COVID-19 vaccine, which was recently granted Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) by the Food & Drug Administration (FDA). The updated mRNA vaccines were approved on Tuesday, September 12 and are expected to be available soon.
“We’ve all heard that cases of COVID-19 are on the rise and the latest updates to COVID-19 vaccines are proving effective at preventing serious illness from the latest strains. We updated our COVID-19 Vaccination Policy and caregivers need to receive the most up-to-date COVID-19 vaccine available,” according to the post obtained by X user Chester Tam.
The announcement outlined several key requirements for employees:
- All caregivers must receive the newest vaccine and provide proof of vaccination by November 30.
- Employees who opt not to get vaccinated may submit a declination form. Those who already have an approved exemption do not need to submit a new declination.
- Employees who fail to comply by the November 30 deadline may be removed from the schedule, placed on unpaid leave, and could face termination for continued non-compliance.
Caregivers who are fully remote and never report to an office are encouraged to be vaccinated but are not required to participate.
In a recent statement to The Gateway Pundit, Providence Hospital System has clarified its stance on COVID-19 vaccinations for its employees, distancing itself from the controversial vaccine mandates that have been a point of contention across the nation.
“The health and safety of our patients, caregivers, and community are our highest priority. As such, we ask that all employees receive an updated COVID-19 vaccine or booster,” said Michael Connors, Providence Public Relations.
However, Providence was quick to point out that this is not a mandate. According to Connors, Providence’s policy diverges from the strict vaccine mandates enforced by state law and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) during the peak of the pandemic.
“This is not the same as the vaccine mandates that we were required to implement by state law and CMS during the pandemic. Caregivers can choose to decline the vaccine. Those who do not wish to receive it simply need to submit a declination form by Nov. 30. They no longer need to request approval for a medical or religious exemption as many of our states and CMS required at the height of COVID,” said Connors.
“All declinations will be automatically accepted. They do not need to be approved. This process is not the same as the medical or religious exemptions that many states and federal regulators required us to review and approve during the pandemic,” he added.
He pointed out that this approach is not entirely new but rather an extension of their long-standing policy regarding the flu vaccine.
“This policy has been our practice for many years with the flu vaccine and we are now extending this to the COVID vaccine,” he added.