D.C. health care workers must have at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine by Sept. 30 or risk losing their medical licenses, according to a new rule from D.C. Health.
The rule mandates COVID-19 vaccines for "health professionals who are licensed, registered or certified by the Department of Health, for persons who are certified by the Department of Health to provide emergency medical services, and for unlicensed personnel…"
There are religious and medical exemptions to the rule. There will be no option, however, to get regularly tested for COVID-19, News4' Mark Segraves reports.
The D.C. Department of Health said in the order that data indicates "an alarming number" of health professionals are not vaccinated against COVID-19.
"Lack of vaccination by these health care workers can easily lead to the spread of SARS-CoV-2 among vulnerable patients receiving care from these health care workers and among the pool of health care workers," D.C. Health says in the order.
"Immediate action is required to protect District residents, visitors, and persons providing health care in the District of Columbia by preventing and controlling the spread of a contagious disease for which effective vaccines currently exist," DC Health says it in its order.
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Failure to comply with the rule "may result in revocation, suspension, or denial of the person's license, registration, or certification," the order states.
The emergency rule was adopted on Aug. 23 and became effective that day, the order states.
Stay with NBC Washington for updates to this developing story.