Ascension healthcare system says it will require all of its associates to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
A statement released by Ascension on Tuesday says that all associates will be required to be vaccinated against COVID-19, whether or not they provide direct care to patients.
The healthcare system's vaccine mandate also includes associates employed by subsidiaries and partners, physicians and advanced practice providers (whether employed or independent), and volunteers and vendors entering Ascension facilities.
In its statement, Ascension said that the decision had been made after a "thorough moral and ethical analysis" was conducted.
"Tens of thousands of Ascension associates have already been vaccinated with the available vaccines, as have millions of people across the country and the world," Ascension's statement said. "But we must do more to overcome this pandemic as we provide safe environments for those we serve."
Ascension says associates must receive the vaccine by Nov. 12 - a timing aligned with Ascension's annual influenza vaccination requirement.
Ascension says that it will provide a process for requesting exemption to individuals who can't receive the vaccine due to a medical condition or a strongly held religious belief.
Similarly, Deaconess health system says its employees will be required to receive the COVID-19 vaccine by October 2021, so long as the vaccines that are currently available receive full FDA approval before then.
You can see the full statement issued by Ascension healthcare here.
Over at the Vanderburgh County Health Department, while they are not requiring their employees to get vaccinated, saying most already are, they are not suprised by local hospitals coming to this conclusion.
"We don't see clients who may have some serious immunocompromised situations here at the health department like the hosptials," said Joe Gries, administrator over at the health department. "I think that's a lot of what they are looking at. They are trying to protect their clients, their patients that are coming in and make sure they are proviing care for those folks who may not be able to get the vaccine or have a compromised immune system."
While at Owensboro Regional Health Hospital, they say they have not required their employees to get vaccinated, they strongly encourage all team members to get their shots, especially as these Delta variant cases increase.