Breaking News

Mount Sinai healthcare system mandates COVID vax for workers

Mount Sinai said Thursday it will require employees to get vaccinated against COVID-19 — becoming the largest New York health care system to institute such a mandate, The Post has learned.

Leaders of the medical group made the decision due to spikes in coronavirus cases caused by the rapidly spreading Delta variant and “as an added measure” to protect staffers, according to a press release.

“As a hospital, a school, and a health care provider, we have responsibilities not only to each other, but to the communities we serve,” Kenneth L. Davis, Mount Sinai Health Systems president and CEO, said in an internal message to staff.

“The right thing to do for our communities — and our Mount Sinai family — is to make sure we are all vaccinated against COVID-19,” Davis continued. “Vaccines are simply the best protection we have against this virus, and our patients deserve the best.”

Mount Sinai joins New York-Presbyterian, which announced its vaccine mandate in June, the first Big Apple medical provider to do so. It is requiring all workers be fully inoculated by Sept. 1, unless they file for an exemption.

Employees of the city’s public hospital and health clinic systems are required as of this month to be vaccinated against the virus — or submit to weekly testing for COVID-19.

New York Presbyterian became the first hospital in the city to mandate the COVID vaccine in June 2021.
NurPhoto via Getty Images

Meanwhile, a spokesperson for NYU Langone Health told Politico it intends to make the vaccine mandatory only upon full approval from the Food and Drug Administration.

Employees at all Mount Sinai locations across the state, including its eight hospitals, ambulatory surgical centers, academic and corporate sites, will need to get their first jab by Sept. 13, the release said.

There will be “limited exemptions” for medical or religious reasons, and the rule doesn’t apply to fully remote workers. Those who don’t get the shot could face getting fired, or other disciplinary action.

Worker administering a shot
About 70 percent of Mount Sinai employees have already been vaccinated.
AP

The hospital system has had a vaccine-or-testing protocol in place since June, and about 70 percent of its approximately 42,000 employees are already inoculated, a rep said.

“To the large majority of you who are already vaccinated — whether you were first in line in December or just got your first shot last week — thank you,” Davis wrote to staffers.

“To those of you who have not been vaccinated, we want you to understand why we are announcing this so early: to respectfully allow you more time to learn, look at the data, and become comfortable with getting vaccinated.”

Medical workers wearing masks walk past a 'Thank You' sign outside of Mount Sinai Hospital amid the coronavirus pandemic in May, 2020.
Medical workers wearing masks walk past a “Thank You” sign outside Mount Sinai Hospital amid the coronavirus pandemic in May 2020.
Getty Images