UnityPoint Health is announcing today it will require its more than 33,000 team members to be vaccinated against COVID-19. The three-state health system also continues to urge all eligible individuals to get their COVID-19 vaccination as soon as possible.
“We remain incredibly grateful to our health care providers, who have seen the devastation of COVID-19 up close and personal over the past 18 months,” said Clay Holderman, President and CEO of UnityPoint Health. “After thoughtful consideration, we believe this vaccination requirement will help keep our team members, patients and communities as healthy as possible, so we can focus on what we do best—delivering exceptional care to those we serve.”
UnityPoint Health will require all employed team members, regardless of whether they provide direct patient care or not, to be fully vaccinated by Nov. 1, 2021.
Team members who choose not to become vaccinated will be subject to voluntary resignation or termination. Team members can request an exemption for medical or religious reasons, which is consistent with the health system’s practice for other required vaccines. Additionally, while pregnant team members will be strongly encouraged to get vaccinated, a temporary deferral will be available.
The system has made it a priority to educate its team members on the safety and efficacy of the vaccine, sharing clinically validated information with all team members and answering staff questions on the vaccine since December 2020.
“The COVID vaccine is safe and effective in terms of preventing severe disease, hospitalization and death,” said Dr. Dave Williams, Chief Clinical Officer of UnityPoint Health. “The continued wave of infections throughout the country make it clear we are not done fighting this pandemic, which means more people need to get vaccinated, especially before an anticipated increase of respiratory illnesses this fall.”
UnityPoint Health joins numerous health systems across the country in requiring the vaccine, a decision also strongly supported by the American Hospital Association, American Nurses Association, American Academy of Pediatrics, Association of American Medical Colleges and National Association for Home Care and Hospice.