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Lurie Children’s Hospital mandates staff COVID-19 vaccines

August 10, 2021 GMT

CHICAGO (AP) — Lurie Children’s Hospital will require its 7,500 workers to get COVID-19 vaccines, making it the latest Chicago-area hospital to mandate the shots as the highly contagious delta variant spreads nationwide.

The hospital’s requirement will apply to employees, students, contractors, many vendors and volunteers, who will be expected to be vaccinated by Oct. 18. Lurie may make exceptions for religious or medical reasons.

“The safety of our patients, many of whom are too young to receive the vaccination, and our workforce is our top priority,” said Dr. Thomas Shanley, Lurie president and CEO, in a news release. “This vaccination requirement stresses our commitment to the community to help slow and stop the spread of COVID-19.”

The requirement comes as the delta variant spreads and case numbers continue to grow in Illinois. The number of children being hospitalized with COVID-19 across the U.S. has been growing in recent weeks.

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With the mandate, Lurie joins a growing list of hospitals and businesses requiring vaccines for workers. Advocate Aurora Health, which has 10 hospitals in Illinois, announced last week that it was mandating vaccines for its 75,000 workers in Illinois and Wisconsin.

Many care providers and organizations across the nation have implemented such requirements based on conclusive evidence that vaccines are safe, effective and critical to saving lives and ending the pandemic.