INDIANAPOLIS — Community Health Network announced Thursday it will require all employees to get the COVID-19 vaccine by Sept. 15. The health system cited patient safety and vaccine effectiveness as the reason for the mandate.
"Since the pandemic started, our caregivers have proven time and again to be heroes in the face of daunting and sometimes frightening challenges," said Community President and CEO Bryan Mills. "Getting vaccinated is one more step in the collective fight against COVID-19."
Since December 2020 when they became eligible, more than 60 percent of Community Health's 16,000 employees have been vaccinated.
Dr. Ram Yeleti, Community's chief physician executive, said health care workers have an obligation to get vaccinated while others put their health in employees' hands.
"The evidence is clearer every day that those who are vaccinated very rarely pass the virus to others," Yeleti said.
Community Health Network already requires employees to get the flu vaccine, barring any exemptions for religious or medical reasons. The same will go for the coronavirus vaccine.
IU Health announced its employees would also be required to get vaccinated earlier this month. A group of opposing employees has planned a protest for Saturday.
All employees — including vendors, contractors and volunteers — who work at Community's hospitals or other provider offices will be required to get vaccinated. Masks will still be required for patients and visitors.