How's Houston Methodist's vaccine mandate so far? 'Very successful,' says CEO Dr. Marc Boom

Houston Methodist managers had a deadline of April 15 to receive at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine as part of the system's mandate. The numbers are in: 99.4 percent of the management team has complied.  

"So far the rollout of our mandatory COVID-19 vaccination plan has been very successful, with our managers at nearly 100 percent as of today," Houston Methodist President and CEO Marc Boom, MD, told Becker's. "Now we turn to all other employees to do the right thing and get vaccinated." 

When the mandatory vaccination policy was rolled out March 31, 95 percent of the system's managers and 100 percent of its executives had received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. They had until April 15 to receive at least one dose or get an approved exemption. Those who have not complied will first have a discussion with their supervisor, then could face suspension followed by termination.

The system now circles June 7 as the next deadline for all 26,000 employees to get the COVID-19 vaccine. As of April 15, more than 84 percent of system employees and 96 percent of employed physicians have received at least one shot. 

Houston Methodist is the first large, integrated health system to make COVID-19 vaccinations mandatory for employees. 

"I feel strongly that we must protect our patients, who are some of the most vulnerable in our community," said Dr. Boom. "I am confident that our employees who are not vaccinated yet will do so by the deadline, as we are all committed to protecting our patients."

A recent poll by the Washington Post and Kaiser Family Foundation found 1 in 6 healthcare workers said they would leave their job rather than get the COVID-19 vaccine. So far, Houston Methodist has not seen any voluntary resignations due to its new policy, a spokesperson told Becker's.

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