Statement From the Teaching Hospitals of Texas on CMS’ COVID-19 Vaccine Mandate for Health Care Providers

“‘Unprecedented’ is the word most frequently used to describe the COVID-19 pandemic. From the national death toll of nearly 730,000 Americans to the disruptions to our ordinary way of life, the novel coronavirus is something most of us have never before experienced.

A federal vaccine mandate for hospitals, too, is new and reflects the severity of the virus and need to do all we can to protect our health care workforce and patients, such as those in intensive care and who are immunocompromised, from potentially deadly infection.

With the federal mandate, all hospitals will operate according to a single standard that assures patients are receiving care in facilities that are upholding their responsibility to minimize infection risk and maximize safety for patients and employees alike.

Hospitals’ failure to comply with the federal COVID-19 vaccine mandate would be financially ruinous, due to the loss of Medicare and Medicaid funding, with closures and a loss of access to care for millions of Texans.

Even before the mandate, however, some private Texas hospitals chose to require vaccination of their employees; all strongly encouraged their staff to get vaccinated.

Texas’ teaching hospitals have the privilege of caring for our most vulnerable Texans, training new physicians and nurses, and leading some of the world’s most innovative research and development. Core to this work is a commitment to safeguarding the health of our patients, employees, and broader community; vaccination against deadly illnesses is part of that commitment.”