Red Cross Issues Vaccine Requirement Effective January 1, 2022

10/29/2021 10:19 AM | Anonymous

On October 28, 2021, Red Cross announced that it will implement a vaccine requirement for all employees, effective January 1, 2022. This requirement also applies to all volunteers who work in-person in Red Cross facilities and operations. Employees and volunteers will need to be fully vaccinated or have received a first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine by December 31 to continue working in 2022. Red Cross will continue to have a medical and religious accommodation process for employees, but not offer testing as an alternative to vaccination, as this option would not be compliant with known federal, state and local regulations.

Click to read the full announcement from Red Cross President Gail McGovern.


10/28/2021

Message from Gail: Red Cross Announces COVID-19 Vaccination Requirement

The following message is from Gail McGovern, president and CEO:

Throughout the pandemic, I have witnessed the dedication and strength of our American Red Cross workforce. We have continually been called on to do great things amid extraordinary circumstances, and we have answered that call without hesitation. I am grateful to each of you as we navigate this challenging time for our organization, our nation and the world.

Over the past six months, the course of the pandemic has changed dramatically – from the proud COVID-19 vaccine selfies and unmasked early summer days to the unforeseen surge of COVID-19 cases bringing a return to masking and uncertainty just a couple months later.

With the emergence of the delta variant, the pandemic landscape has evolved in its complexity. Federal, state and local vaccination mandates have been implemented as COVID-19 vaccination rates have stalled and hospitalizations increased. Many of these mandates already apply to our Red Cross employees and volunteers who are working to deliver our mission in these localities. More are on the horizon. In fact, at the Federal level, there is a mandate that any organization that has a covered federal contract must ensure that the workforce that carries out or supports those contracts is fully vaccinated. That mandate applies to the Red Cross.

That’s why, today, I am announcing that the Red Cross will implement a vaccine requirement for all employees, effective January 1, 2022. Additionally, this requirement applies to all volunteers who work in-person in Red Cross facilities and operations. That means these employees and volunteers will need to be fully vaccinated or have received a first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine by December 31 to continue working in 2022. While we will continue to have a medical and religious accommodation process for employees, we will not offer testing as an alternative to vaccination, as this option would make us non-compliant with known federal, state and local regulations.

If a volunteer is entirely virtual and will never need to enter a Red Cross facility or operation, this vaccination requirement will not apply unless there is a need to enter a facility or operation in-person, or local, state or federal laws dictate otherwise.

As you know, our employees and volunteers serve alongside one another each day as one team. And as one team of Red Crossers, we will take this next critical step to battle the ongoing pandemic. I understand that there are some Red Crossers who remain hesitant to receive a COVID-19 vaccine; however, we must adapt to the changing pandemic environment and comply with the federal, state, and local laws. I am confident that together we will meet these challenges head on – like the many hurdles we have surmounted during this devastating pandemic – and we will continue to deliver our mission for those who turn to us during their darkest moment. Our country needs a vibrant, healthy Red Cross.

Tomorrow, we will send detailed information to all employees and volunteers about our new vaccination requirement. In the meantime, for those who have not yet received a vaccine, I sincerely encourage you to schedule your vaccine as soon as possible so that you are fully vaccinated by December 31.

Thank you for your support and service to our beloved mission.

With deepest appreciation,

Gail


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