Newark, NJ, hospital is first to mandate COVID booster for workers
New Jersey hospital's were among the first in New Jersey to mandate that all employees receive vaccinations against COVID-19 as a condition of employment.
They are also the first to mandate employees get a booster dose of the COVID vaccine.
In June, University Hospital in Newark was the first to tell workers to get the vaccine, or potentially lose their jobs. Hospital officials have now announced anyone who got the Johnson and Johnson one-shot vaccine, must have a booster shot to keep working.
Citing "strong evidence" that breakthrough infections are on the rise among healthcare workers, University Hospital has set a deadline of December 24 for those who had their one dose of J&J vaccine to get a booster.
The mandate does not cover employees who received the Pfizer or Moderna shots, for now, but hospital officials say they will "continue to monitor data to determine if any additional mandates will be required"
With respect to this mandate, all employees who received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine as their primary vaccination are required to obtain their booster shot by Friday, December 24th. Employees will have the option to receive their choice of one of the three approved COVID-19 vaccines, as federal guidance allows for the “mix and match” of primary vaccination injections and the booster. Hospital leadership will continue to monitor data to determine if any additional mandates will be required for employees who received the Pfizer/BioNTech or Moderna vaccines. - Statement/University Hospital
New Jersey Department of Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli is quoted in the hospital's news release. “Healthcare workers have been disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 virus," Persichilli said, "And with the Delta variant remaining active, booster doses will help increase immunity not only for recipients but will further protect the healthcare community.”
After University Hospital announced their vaccine mandate for employees earlier this year, other hospitals and hospital groups quickly followed with their own. So far, New Jersey's two largest hospital groups, Hackensack Meridian and RWJ/Barnabas have not issued a policy on vaccination boosters.