JPS Health Network to Require COVID-19 Vaccines After FDA Approval

Dr. Anthony Fauci said he was hopeful full FDA approval could come by the end of the month

NBC 5 News

JPS Health Network is the latest Texas hospital group to make the COVID-19 vaccine mandatory for employees.

The Tarrant County hospital district, which includes John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth, announced the vaccine requirement pending FDA approval of the vaccines.

In a letter to the over 7,200 JPS employees, president and CEO Robert Earley said the decision was made due to "the dramatic rise in the number of seriously ill patients with COVID-19 due to the surging delta variant," according to a press release.

The hospital group said 86 patients are currently being treated at JPS Hospital with COVID-19.

On Sunday, the U.S. government's top infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, said he was hopeful the Food and Drug Administration will give full approval to the coronavirus vaccine by the end of August.

Many hospital groups across the state have already mandated the vaccine for all employees including Baylor Scott & White HealthMethodist Health, and Texas Health Resources.

On Aug. 4, Children's Health in Dallas and Cook Children's in Fort Worth said they, too, were requiring all employees to be vaccinated.

Parkland Hospital followed suit shortly after and is similarly waiting for FDA approval to require COVID-19 vaccinations.

Earlier this summer, more than 150 employees of the Houston Methodist hospital system who refused to get the COVID-19 vaccine were fired or resigned after a judge dismissed an employee lawsuit over their vaccine requirement.

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