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Maryland Hospitals Will Require COVID-19 Vaccines For Employees

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Credit: TMAXIMUMGE/PUBLIC DOMAIN

Maryland hospitals announced Wednesday they will require the COVID-19 vaccine for their employees.

The Maryland Hospital Association (MHA) wrote in a statement that health systems and hospitals have agreed to set dates after which COVID-19 vaccines will become mandatory for employees.

The University of Maryland Medical System and Johns Hopkins Medicine have set Sept. 1 as their deadline.

Bob Atlas, the president and CEO of MHA, issued a written statement Wednesday.

“Maryland’s dedicated hospital workers have served bravely on the front lines in the fight against COVID-19 since the first cases emerged in Maryland 15 months ago,” he wrote. “This consensus demonstrates hospitals’ commitment to caring for their communities and fulfills their promise to put patients first.”

Dr. Rupali Limaye is an expert on vaccine hesitancy from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. She said the decision to require vaccines in hospitals is reasonable, given that medical employees are already required to get vaccinated for other diseases like the flu.

But Limaye cautioned that workplaces outside the medical field may want to use incentives, not mandates.

“The less restrictive we can be is going to be better,” Limaye said. “That's going to be less likely to erode trust.”

Roughly 70% of Maryland hospital employees are vaccinated for COVID-19, according to the Maryland Hospital Association.