Tower Prepared to Mandate Vaccines for Employees
WEST READING PA – Vaccinations against COVID-19 will be required for all employees of Tower Health – including its Pottstown and Phoenixville hospitals, local physicians’ offices, and local urgent care facilities – when the federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) gives the vaccine its full approval. That milestone is anticipated in coming weeks, Tower noted in a Tuesday (Aug. 17, 2021) media release.
“We will take this step because it is the right thing to do, it is consistent with our mission to provide high-quality care, and it is vital to our obligation to keep our patients and colleagues safe,” Tower Health President and CEO Sue Perrotty said in a memo to its personnel.
Requiring vaccination of healthcare workers is endorsed by the American Medical Association, the American Nurses Association, the American Hospital Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American College of Obstetrics & Gynecology, and many other groups representing caregivers across the United States, the company added.
Tower Health does not plant to implement the policy until the FDA formally approves the vaccine. Its statement said the company intends to “spend the next weeks determining details and developing policies around the vaccine requirement.” When the policy takes effect, it is expected to become a condition of employment for current employees, new hires, and contract staff.
For those employees covered by collective bargaining agreements, the requirement will be subject to discussions between management and the applicable union representatives.
The COVID-19 Delta variant is now the dominant strain in the nation, Tower observed. Ninety-seven percent of COVID-19 infections now occur in people who are unvaccinated. The rate includes an increase of infections among children, it said.