PHILADELPHIA - Philadelphia extended its deadline for health care workers and higher education students and employees to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, Acting Philadelphia Health Commissioner Cheryl Bettigole announced Wednesday.
"We’ve seen from other places that have implemented vaccine mandates that they work. Workers do step up and get their vaccines despite lots of anxiety before the deadlines," Bettigole said during a briefing.
The original deadline was Oct. 15, but after hearing concerns about meeting that goal, particularly from behavioral and home health care providers, the health department is granting an extension.
"My goal is to get everyone vaccinated and not leave our health care and higher education systems shorthanded, especially when we know folks are making an effort to get vaccinated," she added.
The acting health commissioner announced hospital staff, and long-term care facilities along with higher education students, faculty, and staff must receive one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine by Oct. 15 instead of being fully vaccinated by that deadline. They will be required to get their second dose by Nov. 15.
Those who do not have approved exemptions will be out of compliance and will not be able to work or study in those settings.
All other health care workers except for those in hospitals and long-term care facilities will have one additional week beyond that accommodation to get their first dose of the vaccine with a deadline of Nov. 22 for the second dose and will need to be tested twice a week until they're fully vaccinated.
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