PEORIA (WEEK) -UnityPoint Health is joining competitor OSF HealthCare in requiring all employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19.
UnityPoint said Thursday its 33,000 team members, regardless of whether they provide direct patient care, must be fully vaccinated by Nov. 1.
Workers who choose not to become vaccinated will become subject to voluntary resignation or termination. However, they can ask for an exemption for medical or religious reasons, and a temporary deferral will be available for pregnant employees.
“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," said UnityPoint Health President and CEO Clay Holderman in a prepared statement.
UnityPoint Health said it's worked to educate employees about the safety and efficacy of the vaccine.
“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," said UnityPoint Health Chief Clinical Officer Dr. Dave Williams.
OSF HealthCare announced its vaccine mandate last month.