PITTSBURGH — Highmark Health is the most recent business to require vaccination.
Officials from Highmark Health said all employees must be fully vaccinated with one of the three approved COVID-19 vaccines unless they have a medical or religious exemption.
Here is the statement from Highmark:
- Highmark Health is committed to protecting our employees, patients and our communities from COVID-19 while also complying with the federal vaccine mandate that was announced on September 9, 2021.
- Toward these goals, and after further consideration and review of guidance released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), public health authorities and professional organizations, Highmark Health is implementing an updated COVID-19 vaccination policy for its workforce.
- Highmark Health is now requiring all employees, as a condition of employment, to be fully vaccinated with one of the three approved COVID-19 vaccines, unless they have a medical or religious exemption, by December 8, 2021.
- This deadline is part of the new mandate that requires vaccination for all employees of federal contractors. Highmark Health, Highmark Inc. and Allegheny Health Network qualify as contractors due to participation in several federal programs.
- Highmark Health will continue to require attestation of vaccination status by all Highmark Health, Highmark Inc. and Allegheny Health Network employees.
- Employees may be exempted from the vaccine requirement for an approved accommodation due to qualifying medical conditions or an approved religious accommodation.
- This new policy is effective October 21, 2021.
- The federal vaccine mandate applies to all federal contractors and isn’t unique to Highmark Health. Upwards of 100 million people across the nation may be impacted.
- We expect that these mandates will apply to all hospitals and health systems across the country, and almost every other large employer in the health care field, as well as those outside of it.
- Government and public health guidelines and restrictions and business and industry best practices regarding COVID-19 and COVID-19 vaccines are changing rapidly as new information becomes available, further research is conducted and additional vaccines are approved and distributed. The Company reserves the right to modify this policy at any time to adapt to changing circumstances and business needs.