ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - Johns Hopkins Medicine, the parent company of St. Pete’s Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital, announced Wednesday that they’ll be requiring nearly all employees to get the COVID-19 vaccine.
The Baltimore-based health system says the new policy will apply to faculty, staff, temporary staff, students, postdoctoral fellows, house staff, providers, volunteers and vendors at all Johns Hopkins Medicine locations around the country.
"As health care providers, it is our responsibility to do everything we can to end the COVID-19 pandemic," stated Kevin Sowers, the president of the Johns Hopkins Health System.
Employees have until September 1 to be fully vaccinated, which the CDC defines as two weeks after receiving the second shot of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, or two weeks after the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
Anyone who remains unvaccinated after September 1 will be asked to submit to a weekly COVID-19 test.
Johns Hopkins’ dean of faculty said that more than three-quarters of the clinically facing staff has already been vaccinated.
"Every person who is vaccinated helps to bring an end to this pandemic," offered Paul Rothman, M.D. "To avoid a rise in viral transmission as restrictions are lifted, we need as many people vaccinated as possible."
Vaccinations are not required for patients being treated at Johns Hopkins Medicine facilities, though hospital leadership is encouraging all citizens to get the vaccine.
Earlier this year, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed legislation that prevented businesses from mandating the vaccine for customers – so-called "vaccination passports." However, the bill included an exemption for health care providers.
Meanwhile, the EEOC says it is not discriminatory for businesses to demand an employee get a vaccine because it's not related to a disability and the unvaccinated are not a protected class under other federal laws.