CVS Health Corp. is mandating certain employees, including nurses and pharmacists, get vaccinated for the Chinese coronavirus.
In a Monday statement, the company announced vaccine requirements for both clinical and corporate employees. Specifically, it will require “certain employees who interact with patients,” as well as corporate staff, to be fully vaccinated by October 31, 2021.
“New hires in the same roles as of September 15 must have received their first COVID-19 vaccine prior to their first day of employment,” the company’s announcement reads.
While CVS Health President and CEO Karen S. Lynch acknowledged that the “vast majority” of employees have chosen to be vaccinated, she said the mandate is “in direct response to the dramatic rise in cases among the unvaccinated.”
“Patient-facing roles that will require proof of vaccination include nurses, care managers and pharmacists,” CVS Health said.
The company is giving pharmacists working in the retail stores until November 30 to be fully vaccinated “due to the size of this employee population.”
“Other roles at CVS Health are under review and may be added based on updated data and public health guidance,” it continued:
CVS Health has administered more than 30 million COVID-19 vaccines across the country, with seamless online scheduling and walk-in appointments available. The company is fully prepared to play a leading role in providing booster shots and will adhere to distribution guidelines while continuing to offer shots to those who have yet to be vaccinated.
CVS Health Corp.’s announcement comes as states and local governments begin to implement their own vaccine requirements for state employees, teachers, and healthcare workers as seen in New York, New Jersey, California, and Maine.
On Monday, President Biden explicitly urged private businesses to “step up with vaccine requirements” for employees.
“If you’re a business leader, a nonprofit leader, a state or local leader, who has been waiting for full FDA approval to require vaccinations, I call on you now to do that — require it,” Biden said. “It only makes sense to require a vaccine to stop the spread of COVID-19.”
He has also signaled support for policies overtly discriminating against the unvaccinated, such as the Key to NYC Pass in the Big Apple, telling reporters he believes states and cities should take similar action.