More medical establishments in the Tennessee cities of Nashville and Memphis will require employees to get vaccinated against COVID-19.
Meharry Medical College President and CEO James Hildreth made the announcement Sunday on Twitter, WSMV-TV reported. Meharry joins Vanderbilt University Medical Center and Ascension St. Thomas in requiring that employees get the vaccine.
Hildreth, who is also a professor of internal medicine, said employees will have until Oct. 1 to get vaccinated. A vaccine requirement was already in place for students and clinical staff.
In Memphis, the Regional One Health and Methodist Le Bonheur hospital systems both said their employees must get vaccinated, The Commercial Appeal reported. Vaccination requirements for both systems go into effect Oct. 31.
In a statement, Methodist Le Bonheur said nearly 70% of its leadership team, and an even higher number of doctors, have received a vaccine.
St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, also in Memphis, previously had announced a vaccine requirement for its workers.
Also on Monday, Republican Gov. Bill Lee declined to reveal whether he would call a special legislative session to ban schools from enacting mask mandates and other protective measures against the coronavirus pandemic.
Republican House Speaker Cameron Sexton has said he wants a special session to address such issues, but Lee has remain mum on whether he will actually do so. Instead, Lee said he’ll be talking with lawmakers over the next week. In the meantime, he has said that parents are the ones who are best equipped to decide how to keep their kids safe from the virus in schools.
Currently, a small handful of Tennessee schools have announced plans to require masks while indoors and on buses.