New Orleans, LA

Ochsner Health’s Mandatory Employee Vaccination to Improve Patient and Community Safety

Pierre St-Jean

NEW ORLEANS, LA - Following the FDA's full approval of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, Ochsner Health (Ochsner) announced that all of its physicians, providers, and employees must be vaccinated against COVID-19 by October 29, 2021.

This formal announcement comes as Louisiana battles the fourth surge, with the highly contagious Delta variant causing increased positivity rates and record-breaking hospitalizations in the last month, and increasing levels of COVID-19 positivity, hospitalizations, and deaths at the Gulf South. Ochsner currently has 979 COVID-19 patients under his care. More than 865 people, or more than 88 percent, are unvaccinated.

In terms of vaccinations, Louisiana currently ranks 46th in the country with only 39 percent of Louisiana residents fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Approximately 69 percent of Ochsner Health employees are immunized.

This vaccination mandate applies to clinical and corporate full-time and part-time workers at Ochsner Health-owned facilities, as well as all leaders, physicians, employees, and new hires. All vendors, medical and allied health students, contract employees, PRN, agency nurses, and volunteers, in addition to employees, will be required to show proof of vaccination before rounding or working at an Ochsner Health campus.

Ochsner's new policy is the result of months of internal encouragement and education. Employees have received more vacation time and 24 hours access to vaccines. Q&A sessions hosted by vaccine experts, one-on-one meetings, and made rounds with vaccine carts were held to answer questions and make vaccination as convenient as possible. Ochsner will continue to provide ongoing opportunities for employees and community members to learn about the vaccine and how it works.

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