Sanford Health to require COVID-19 vaccine for employees
Sanford Health Media Relations
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D., July 22, 2021 – Sanford Health is taking another important step to ensure the safest possible environment for patients, residents and staff during the pandemic by requiring all employees to get a COVID-19 vaccination by Nov. 1. This includes employees at all of its Good Samaritan Society locations.
“This is the right thing to do for our patients and residents, people and communities,” said Bill Gassen, president and CEO of Sanford Health. “As more contagious COVID-19 variants continue to spread and threaten our communities, we must do everything we can to protect each other and our loved ones.”
“Since the emergence of COVID-19, Sanford Health has led the way through every stage of the pandemic, and we should be proud of how we’ve come together to safely care for our communities and each other,” said Jeremy Cauwels, M.D., chief physician at Sanford Health. “Nearly all new COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths are among unvaccinated people, and the overwhelming data confirms that the vaccines are not only safe, but the best and most reliable way to prevent transmission of the virus.”
Across Sanford Health, health care providers have been leading by example by choosing to get vaccinated to protect themselves and others. More than 90% of clinicians and 70% of nurses are fully vaccinated.
Sanford Health employees are already required to have several other vaccines including the annual flu shot. Under the new policy, any COVID-19 vaccine received in the past 12 months will qualify for the 2021 requirement. Unvaccinated employees can get their COVID-19 vaccination at any time but must report it by Nov. 1. All unvaccinated employees are encouraged to get their shots as soon as possible. As with other vaccines, Sanford Health will allow certain exemptions for medical or religious reasons.
Wednesday, the American Hospital Association (AHA) announced its support of hospitals and health systems that implement mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policies for health care personnel.
According to the American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL), United States nursing homes showed a 96% decline in COVID cases in less than three months of initial doses being administered to nursing home residents and staff starting on Dec. 20. COVID-related deaths in nursing homes declined 91% in the same timeframe.
About Sanford Health
Sanford Health, one of the largest health systems in the United States, is dedicated to the integrated delivery of health care, genomic medicine, senior care and services, global clinics, research and affordable insurance. Headquartered in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, the organization includes 46 hospitals, 1,500 physicians and more than 200 Good Samaritan Society senior care locations in 26 states and 10 countries. Learn more about Sanford Health’s transformative work to improve the human condition at sanfordhealth.org or Sanford Health News.