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Baylor College of Medicine says faculty, staff must be vaccinated by Sept. 15

Hospital officials said there will be exceptions for medical contraindications and religious beliefs.

HOUSTON — Baylor College of Medicine is now requiring its faculty and staff to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, the officials announced Thursday afternoon.

Hospital officials said there will be exceptions for medical contraindications and religious beliefs.

Employees must complete their vaccination by Sept. 15 or will be subject to disciplinary action.

Here is the complete letter to employees below:

To Members of the Baylor College of Medicine Community,

Baylor College of Medicine has approved a new policy (link) requiring its faculty and staff to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, with exceptions for medical contraindications and sincerely held religious beliefs.

We made the decision at this time in response to the resurgence of the virus. As the nation enters the fourth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, due in large part to the emergence of the Delta variant coupled with a large unvaccinated population, it is important to remember that vaccination is key to protecting ourselves, our loved ones and the broader community and to ending the pandemic. 

This policy decision is in alignment with our Mission and Vision Statement that we are an institution built on a foundation of science and discovery to improve health in our local and global communities. This policy is designed to protect the health and safety of Baylor employees and patients, and our broader community.

Employees must complete their COVID vaccination by Sept. 15, 2021. Vaccinations are free and readily available at the Baylor Vaccine Clinic on the sixth floor, suite B, on the McNair Campus. Hours are 7:30 – 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 – 4 p.m., Monday through Friday. Walk-ins welcome or make an appointment online. COVID vaccines also are readily available in the community. Use the vaccine finder tool to locate a vaccine near you.

Wherever you receive the vaccine, you must complete the attestation through the Vaccine App. If you have already completed your vaccination but have not attested, please do so now.

Religious and medical exemptions to the vaccination requests must be submitted by Sept. 1, 2021 (https://www.bcm.edu/covidvaccine). Please note that trainees cannot be required to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, as addressed in Gov. Greg Abbott’s executive order. (https://gov.texas.gov/uploads/files/press/EO-GA-35_private_health_information_protection_vaccines.pdf).  It is important to note that the vast majority of trainees have been fully vaccinated, including incoming students.

Employees who do not comply with the vaccination policy by the referenced deadlines will be subject to disciplinary action.

It is important to note that most of the Baylor Community has been vaccinated, including all members of the executive team, department chairs, center directors and deans. Our expectation is that all faculty and staff will meet this deadline, consistent with our roles as leaders of academic medicine.

Baylor’s new policy is aligned with the recommendations of over 50 health care professional organizations, including the Association of American Medical Colleges, the main representative organization of medical schools and teaching hospitals. The AAMC released a statement “urging [our] member institutions to require vaccination for their employees for the safety of our patients, communities, health care personnel, faculty and students.” Please refer to the full AAMC statement.

We thank all those members of our community who have spent the last 16 months caring for patients, conducting research, educating trainees and maintaining our administrative work and supporting our operations to ensure Baylor College of Medicine’s leadership locally, nationally and globally.

Paul Klotman, M.D.

President and CEO

Executive Dean

James T. McDeavitt, M.D.

Executive Vice President and Dean of Clinical Operations

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