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Avera Health requiring employees to get the COVID-19 vaccine

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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KTIV) - Avera Health has announced all of its physicians, employees and volunteers will be required to get vaccinated against COVID-19 by Dec. 1, 2021.

Avera Health made the announcement Tuesday, saying the policy also applies to students rotating in Avera facilities, contracted workers and vendors.

“As a health care ministry, Avera is called upon to provide a safe and protective environment for our patients, their families and our employees. This is consistent with our mission and values,” said David Erickson, MD, Chief Medical and Innovation Officer at Avera Health. “For decades, vaccination has been an important tool in public health. Avera has long been requiring vaccinations among its employees for influenza and other infectious diseases like measles.”

Avera says it will consider exemptions for employees with medical conditions or religious beliefs that keep them from getting the vaccine. Employees who receive an exemption will be required to wear appropriate personal protective equipment and comply with regular COVID-19 testing and other preventive measures.

“The majority of our employees have already turned to vaccination to protect themselves, their families and their patients,” said Kim Jensen, Chief Human Resources Officer at Avera Health. 

Avera, which has facilities in Iowa, Nebraska, South Dakota and Minnesota, joins the growing list of health system requiring employees to get the COVID-19 vaccines. Among them are MercyOne, Sanford and UnityPoint Health.

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Dean Welte

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