Sanford Health will require all employees to get a COVID-19 vaccination by Nov. 1, 2021. This includes employees at all of its Good Samaritan Society locations.

The health network reports that already 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.

Sanford Health says it will allow certain exemptions for medical or religious reasons.

“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.”

Sanford Health chief physician Jeremy Cauwels says, “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.”