Baylor Scott & White Health to Require COVID Vaccines for 40k Workers
With COVID-19 infections on the rise and flu season approaching, Baylor Scott & White Health will require employees, vendors, volunteers, contractors, and students to get vaccinated.
The Dallas Morning News's Mitchell Schnurman broke the story Wednesday, July 28. Schnurman reports that the health system's 40,000+ employees will need to be fully vaccinated by October 1.
BS&W now joins at least 70 other U.S. healthcare providers who've adopted a vaccine requirement, Schnurman reports.
According to a statement from BS&W, the move was prompted by a rapid increase in COVID-19 infections due to the delta variant - a strain that's believed to be twice as transmissible as the original strain and able to replicate itself far more quickly.
A recent article from the journal Nature breaks down why the delta variant is particularly dangerous and able to more effectively fool the body's immune system than the original strain.
Our partners at News 10 report that BS&W has been rescheduling elective procedures in Temple to ensure that the hospital is prepared to treat those in most need of care. BS&W says most of its employees area already vaccinated, but they're giving those who aren't until October 1 to receive both doses of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, or the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine unless, as KXAN-TV reports, they're granted an exemption.
According to BS&W, the majority of current COVID-19 patients they're treating are people under 50 who've not been vaccinated.
Bell County continues to maintain a COVID-19 dashboard, which indicated 793 active cases on Wednesday. There have been 24,029 total cases, 22,765 of which were recoveries. Sadly, there have been 471 deaths.
I know a lot of people don't want to hear it, but just because there's no longer a statewide mask mandate and many private entities are no longer requiring them, we should still be mindful and courteous and mask up when we're indoors and in crowds. I'm fully vaccinated, as is my mother, who I care for due to a medical condition affecting her lungs. Because I don't know everyone's circumstances or what I could potentially take home to my loved one, I'm still making up and keeping my distance as much as possible when out shopping for essentials.
Look into getting vaccinated as well. Ask your doctor about the available vaccines and the potential side effects, and if it's safe to do so, get that vaccine. It's not a magical force field that absolutely guarantees you won't be infected or experience symptoms, but it can be a powerful tool to help your immune system build up a defense.