MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A major employer in Memphis is requiring its employees to get the COVID-19 vaccine.
Wednesday, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital announced that all St. Jude and Memphis-area ALSAC employees must be vaccinated against COVID-19 by Thursday, September 9. If St. Jude employees aren't vaccinated by that deadline --or do not have an approved medical or religious exemption--, they will be placed on unpaid administrative leave. During that time, employees have the opportunity to start the vaccination process. Those who do not start the vaccination process will be fired at the end of the two-week period.
A bit different from St. Jude, for ALSAC employees who have a valid reason not to be vaccinated for an accommodation due to disability, a verified health condition, or sincerely held religious beliefs, they will work to offer opportunities for reskilling and/or the ability potentially to work from home.
ALSAC said, "That means, beginning Sept. 9, only fully vaccinated ALSAC employees, interns, consultants and contractors will be allowed to work at ALSAC in the Tamer-Rashid Building on campus and at Crosstown or attend on-campus ALSAC events or have in-person supporter interactions. This will ensure our ALSAC workforce and supporters feel safe and comfortable while ensuring we are being responsible to the immunocompromised patients on our campus."
In a statement to Local 24 News, St. Jude said, “As our mission states and as our St. Jude core values echo, we must ensure that advancing treatment for children with catastrophic diseases is at the center of everything we do. This means providing our patients and their families with the safest treatment environment possible.
We reached this decision after much research, analysis and discussion. It is the right thing to keep our campus safe. Our duty to our patients frames everything we do. This is the logical next step to ensure we stay one step ahead of the virus.
We join other hospitals and institutions nationwide that are requiring vaccination to effectively fight COVID-19.
ALSAC and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital share a campus and are jointly implementing this policy for the safety and well-being of our patient families and staff.”