Newsroom Update on COVID-19 vaccination requirement for our teams Posted on Sept. 13, 2023 We recently shared the policy change notice below with our CoxHealth colleagues:CoxHealth recently made a policy change to end the COVID-19 vaccination requirement for employees. The change reflects current best practices in health care, and is aligned with guidance from regulatory bodies and industry experts.In 2021, CoxHealth leadership followed guidance from the CDC, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and other government agencies to require health care employees to receive the primary series of the COVID-19 vaccine to protect patients and employees.Since then, COVID-19 deaths have greatly declined and hospitalizations have decreased as well. Earlier this summer, government agencies also withdrew the COVID-19 vaccine mandate for health care workers. With this in mind and following guidance from our physician leaders, CoxHealth made the decision to remove this requirement as a condition of employment.It is important to note that since CoxHealth has not required boosters, there are many colleagues who only received the original series in 2020. Since their protection has now significantly waned, their risk is likely comparable to that of an incoming staff member who is unvaccinated.CoxHealth stands by its decision in 2021 and stands by this decision now. Both policy changes are rooted in science and prioritize the safety and health of our patients and employees.In addition, previously, any employees with an exemption from the vaccine requirement were required to mask when working with patients. This policy change means those employees will no longer be required to mask.CoxHealth’s Employee Health department will continue to provide the vaccine to employees who wish to receive one. While the federal COVID-19 vaccination program has now ended, CoxHealth will continue to cover the cost of the vaccine for employees.Employees who choose to be vaccinated outside Employee Health should continue to share their documentation with Employee Health, as CoxHealth is required to report vaccination rates to the CDC’s National Healthcare Safety Network.COVID-19 continues to be an evolving virus, and cases are rising in some areas around the nation. CoxHealth will work with public health professionals to monitor trends, and we will continue to keep patient and employee safety top of mind as the situation changes.