Biden’s COVID surge plan likely to require mandatory vaccines for EMS

One initiative states facilities receiving funds through Medicare or Medicaid will be required to be vaccinated against COVID-19, which likely includes EMS, according to legal scholars


By Rachel Engel

WASHINGTON — This week, President Joe Biden announced sweeping new COVID-related initiatives aimed at curbing the current surge.

The administration announced that agencies participating in federal healthcare programs, such as Medicare or Medicaid, will be required to be vaccinated against COVID-19, with limited exceptions. According to EMS legal experts Page, Wolfberg and Wirth, this will likely include EMS organizations.

“There is no higher priority for us than patient health and safety,” U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra said. “There is no question that staff, across any healthcare setting, who remain unvaccinated, pose both direct and indirect threats to patient safety and population health. Ensuring safety and access to all patients, regardless of their entry point into the healthcare system, is essential.”
“There is no higher priority for us than patient health and safety,” U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra said. “There is no question that staff, across any healthcare setting, who remain unvaccinated, pose both direct and indirect threats to patient safety and population health. Ensuring safety and access to all patients, regardless of their entry point into the healthcare system, is essential.” (Photo/Getty)

Shortly after the president’s speech, CMS released a press release regarding the announcement.

“The Biden-Harris Administration will require COVID-19 vaccination of staff within all Medicare and Medicaid-certified facilities to protect both them and patients from the virus and its more contagious Delta variant,” the statement read.

The statement encouraged healthcare workers to get vaccinated as soon as possible.

“There is no higher priority for us than patient health and safety,” U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra said. “There is no question that staff, across any healthcare setting, who remain unvaccinated, pose both direct and indirect threats to patient safety and population health. Ensuring safety and access to all patients, regardless of their entry point into the healthcare system, is essential.”

Though the language used by the President and CMS did not specifically mention EMS, “PWW believes it is very likely that the Healthcare Provider requirement, when issued by CMS will include EMS agencies," according to the PWW release. 

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