ALBANY — Albany Medical Center Hospital is requiring all employees be vaccinated against COVID-19 before Oct. 1.
“After several months of careful deliberation, with a multi-disciplinary team looking at the issue of COVID vaccination, we have come forward with the position that we will be requiring COVID vaccine for our entire workforce,” said President and CEO Dennis McKenna on a recorded video to the staff and public.
The directive covers the entire approximately 10,000-strong workforce including employees, volunteers, students and vendors.
The hospital will grant medical and religious deferrals on a limited basis.
More than 80 percent of Albany Med workers are already vaccinated but the directive comes to counter spread of the Delta variant of COVID-19 and an increase in hospitalizations.
As of Thursday, there were 15 people hospitalized across the Capital District and all of them were not vaccinated.
“We care for a very vulnerable population and it is important that all of us are vaccinated in order to protect not only the employee or the student but also the patients and staff around us,” McKenna said.
Albany Med follows a directive by Trinity Health mandating its employees get vaccinated. Locally, the Michigan based health care company owns St. Peter’s Health Partners which runs St. Peter’s and Samaritan hospitals, Sunnyview Rehabilitation Hospital, the Eddy and other facilities. In all, 117,000 workers in 22 states will have to get vaccinated by Sept. 21.