LIVONIA, Mich. — Trinity Health announced that, effective immediately, the national health system will require all colleagues, clinical staff, contractors, and those conducting business in its healthcare facilities to be vaccinated against COVID-19. The requirement applies to Trinity Health’s more than 117,000 employees in 22 states nationwide in an effort to stop the spread of the virus and keep all patients, colleagues, and the broader community safe. This includes the nearly 11,000 Trinity Health Of New England colleagues in both Connecticut and Massachusetts.
Since December, when the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the first vaccine for emergency-use authorization, Trinity Health has strongly encouraged vaccination for all colleagues within the communities its various Health Ministries serve. To date, the health system estimates that nearly 75% of Trinity Health employees have already received at least one dose of the vaccine, and it now looks to close the gap with this new requirement.
“Trinity Health Of New England strongly supports vaccination, as it aligns with our core value of safety,” said Dr. Reggy Eadie, president and CEO of Trinity Health Of New England. “The science has proven the vaccines currently available are both safe and effective. We feel strongly that the COVID-19 vaccine is the single most effective tool in slowing, and even stopping, the spread of the coronavirus. As leaders in healthcare, we have an obligation to do our part to protect ourselves, our colleagues, our patients, and our communities.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that more than 331 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in the U.S. The vaccines have proven to be safe and effective against symptomatic infections, hospitalizations, and death, with more than 99% of COVID-19 deaths currently occurring in unvaccinated people.
“We remain dedicated to providing outreach and education to both colleagues and our community about the safety and efficacy of the vaccine,” said Dr. Syed Hussain, senior vice president and chief clinical officer at Trinity Health Of New England. “Since prior to the arrival of the first shipment of the vaccine, we offered a variety of opportunities for colleagues and their loved ones to get their vaccine-related questions and concerns answered. Education about the vaccine continues today with interactive webinar sessions available to all colleagues across our region.”
Employees at Trinity Health and its Health Ministries must meet a series of rolling deadlines, with most locations requiring them to submit proof of vaccination by Sept. 21. It has not yet been determined if a COVID-19 vaccine booster will be required annually, but if so, employees will also need to submit proof of the booster as needed. Exemptions are available for religious or health reasons and must be formally requested, documented, and approved. Employees who do not meet criteria for exemption and fail to show proof of vaccination will face termination of employment.