UChicago Medicine requires COVID vaccine for workers
The University of Chicago Medicine system is requiring workers to be vaccinated against COVID-19, according to an internal memo obtained by Crain’s.
The mandate follows a UChicago announcement today that all university employees are expected to get vaccinated, unless they’re exempt for medical, religious or another authorized reason.
Three-hospital Loyola Medicine also is mandating COVID vaccines for employees, a move its Michigan-based parent announced last week.
“COVID is not going to go away tomorrow. This is a problem we’re going to be tackling for a few years,” University of Chicago Medical Center President Tom Jackiewicz told Crain’s. “Being a hospital, we’re going to continue to take care of COVID patients and it’s really important for our workers to be vaccinated—for their patients, but also for their families. To me, it’s an important step forward in the battle against this disease.”
UChicago Medicine’s requirement also applies to volunteers and contractors at its Hyde Park campus and at Ingalls Memorial Hospital in Harvey.
This mandate “may be subject to discussion with unions for employees in bargaining units depending on whether there is a current collective bargaining agreement in place and its terms,” the memo says.
Meanwhile, other large Chicago area hospital systems, including Advocate Aurora Health and Amita Health, are not requiring that workers get vaccinated against COVID-19 at this time, though they are strongly encouraging vaccination. At the start of the vaccine rollout, some local hospitals said they likely wouldn’t mandate COVID-19 shots like they do flu shots until they’re FDA-approved, rather than authorized under emergency-use rules, as the COVID vaccines currently are.