Sanford Health is now requiring all employees to get the COVID-19 vaccine by Nov. 1.
Vice President Dr. Chris Meeker said in a media briefing that employees can request a religious or medical exemption that will be considered on a case by case basis. He says those without an approved exemption will have to find another job.
Across all Sanford facilities, more than 90 percent of clinicians and 70 percent of nurses are already fully vaccinated. Meeker says the decision has long been considered for patient safety, and comes as concerns over virus variants are growing.
“Really what we’re going to do is spend time with that employee and go over the evidence for the vaccine, the benefits of the vaccine and the risks of the vaccine. The risks are extremely low, but they do happen. We want to be very transparent and we really want to allow the employees to come to their own conclusions, but ultimately we do want to see them get vaccinated.”
The vaccine requirement will also apply to all of Sanford’s Good Samaritan locations.