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Sanford Health announced it will require the COVID-19 vaccine for employees on Thursday. All employees will be required to get a COVID injection by Nov. 1 — including employees at all of Sanford Health’s Good Samaritan Society locations.

“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 said more than 90 percent of clinicians and 70 percent of nurses are fully vaccinated. Employees are already required to have several other vaccines, including the annual flu shot.

Any COVID vaccine received in the past 12 months will qualify for the 2021 requirement, the release says.

Unvaccinated employees must report their vaccination by Nov. 1. They are “encouraged” to get their shots “as soon as possible.”

Sanford does state it will allow certain exemptions for medical or religious reasons.

According to Sanford’s website, there are 17 Sanford locations in Iowa.

Author: Jacob Hall