NEA Baptist and St. Bernards in Jonesboro, as well as CHI St. Vincent in Little Rock, will require all employees to have fully-vaccinated status by Nov. 1, 2021.
St. Bernards President and CEO Chris Barber said the organization must take every effort to protect the health of patients, visitors and employees alike. He said health care providers have a duty to lead public health initiatives, including vaccination efforts, by example.
A press release on behalf of CHI St. Vincent stated that, “By requiring the COVID-19 vaccination as a condition of employment, just as we do with the flu (influenza) vaccine, our ministry joins health systems and associations across the country in supporting vaccination for health care workers in an effort to continue protecting our patients, staff and communities from this dangerous disease.”
Barber added that St. Bernards will make exceptions among employees who cannot receive the vaccine for documented health reasons or specific religious objections.
NEA Baptist will also have a process in place for employees who cannot get the vaccine for health and other reasons, similar to the process it follows for the flu vaccine requirement.
CHI St. Vincent’s policy will allow for medical and religious exemptions for those who qualify.