CommonSpirit Health, one of the nation’s largest nonprofit health systems, will require that its 150,000 employees in 140 hospitals and more than 1,000 care sites and facilities across 21 states be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by Nov. 1. This requirement also includes all physicians, Advanced Practice Providers, volunteers, and others caring for patients within CommonSpirit facilities.
The decision aligns with the organization’s mission of improving the health of those it serves, and especially those who are most vulnerable, along with its commitment to providing safe care for patients and a safe work environment for clinicians and staff. The implementation date of this requirement will vary by region due to local and state regulations and conditions, but all CommonSpirit employees must be vaccinated by Nov. 1.
“As health care providers, we have a responsibility to help end this pandemic and protect our patients, our colleagues, and those in our communities – including the most vulnerable among us,” said Lloyd H. Dean, CEO of CommonSpirit. “An abundance of evidence shows that the vaccines are safe and highly effective. Throughout the pandemic we have made data-driven decisions that will help us best fulfill our healing mission, and requiring vaccination is critical to maintaining a safe care environment.”
By requiring the COVID-19 vaccination as a condition of employment, just as it does with the flu (influenza) vaccine, CommonSpirit joins health systems and associations across the country in supporting vaccination for health care workers in an effort to continue protecting patients, staff, and communities from COVID-19. Medical and religious exemptions will be available for those who qualify.
Throughout the pandemic, CommonSpirit has implemented a broad range of safety measures to be able to continue providing essential health care services to everyone in its communities, including those battling life-threatening COVID-19 infections. Unfortunately, COVID-19 cases are on the rise again due to the threat of variants, and many communities continue to have low vaccination rates. According to the CDC and FDA, all COVID-19 vaccines available in the United States are highly effective in preventing serious illness, hospitalization and death from COVID-19.