PHOENIX — Valleywise Health has announced all employees will be required to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19.
In a statement released Wednesday, officials stated employees must be vaccinated by November 1. as part of a decision to highlight safety as a top priority.
“We care for populations hardest hit by the pandemic and we have a responsibility to take every measure possible to ensure the safest care environment,” Steve Purves, President and CEO, said. “The evidence is compelling and clear: Available vaccines are safe and effective at preventing COVID-19, especially the severe illness and death it can cause. Vaccines also reduce the risk people will spread the virus that causes COVID19.”
The announcement comes as many care providers across Arizona and the country have implemented such a requirement based on evidence that vaccines are safe, effective and critically important to saving lives and bringing an end to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the statement.
The requirement applies to more than 4,000 Valleywise Health workers, including remote workers and those who don't work directly with patients, as well as District Medical Group medical staff, residents, volunteers and on-site vendors. Exceptions include those with specific religious or medical reasons.
“We are first and foremost a safe, clinical enterprise,” Purves said. “Our ultimate duty is to protect the health and safety of our employees, patients and families, visitors and the community.”