By Staff

FORT WORTH, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) — JPS Health Network has joined other hospital systems in Dallas-Fort Worth and health care institutions across the U.S. requiring COVID-19 vaccination for its workers (pending FDA approval).

In an email to more than 7,200 JPS team members, President and CEO Robert Earley said that leaders made the decision because of the dramatic rise in the number of seriously ill patients with the coronavirus due to the surging delta variant.

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“I heard the strong voice of our Medical Executive Committee when they voted unanimously to make the vaccine mandatory. I heard the voice of my own primary care provider to make the vaccine mandatory, and I heard patients, coworkers and families that expressed their opinions. We must use all tools that are available to us to fight a very devastating and powerful virus,” Earley said.

JPS Board of Managers Chairman Charles Webber, MD, said that he supports the mandatory vaccines because he believes taking the shot “is the right thing to do.”

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“I think it is morally the right thing to do as an individual, and as a doctor I feel the same way,” Webber said.

Hospital officials encouraged vaccination for everyone who is eligible. JPS has provided 97,864 vaccinations to patients, healthcare workers, and the public.

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There are currently 86 patients being treated at John Peter Smith Hospital with COVID-19. Staff