Sanford Health Mandating COVID Vaccinations For All Employees

Sioux Falls, South Dakota — Sanford Health has now become the second health system with northwest Iowa facilities to require all employees to be vaccinated against the coronavirus. Earlier this month, the parent company of MercyOne in Primghar issued a similar mandate.

In a Thursday afternoon press release from Sanford Health, the healthcare giant announced that all employees in the Sanford system, including employees at all of its Good Samaritan Society locations, will be required to get a COVID-19 vaccination by November 1st.

Sanford Health CEO Bill Gassen is quoted as saying, “This is the right thing to do for our patients and residents, people and communities.” He says, “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.”

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.