Vaccine deadline passes for Baptist Hospital network employees

2% of employees opted out of vaccine mandate
Published: Nov. 1, 2021 at 6:19 PM CDT
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DESOTO COUNTY, Miss. (WMC) - The Baptist Hospital Network becomes is the third Memphis-area health system to pass the deadline of having all employees vaccinated for COVID-19.

A spokesperson with the health system said 98 percent of its total staff of roughly 19,000 opted to take the vaccine, meaning around 400 people will no longer work at Baptist come Tuesday.

The other two hospitals, St. Jude and Methodist Le Bonheur (MLH), have already passed their deadlines for employees.

St. Jude, whose deadline was September 9, said in a statement that, “The overwhelming majority of our employees are fully vaccinated and there will be no impact to the care we provide our patients and families, our life-saving research, or our fundraising efforts.”

MLH reported 97 percent of its staff having received the vaccine, and with a staff of just under 13,000, it too will be losing roughly 400 employees who opted out.

COVID-19 vaccine mandates have prompted Tennessee Republican Senator Marsha Blackburn to introduce legislation on Capitol Hill.

The Keep our COVID-19 Heroes Employed Act was introduced last week and requires companies who impose a COVID-19 vaccine mandate to provide an exemption for essential workers.

The legislation has been cosigned by fellow Tennessee Republican Senator Bill Hagerty.

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