Ascension will mandate the COVID-19 vaccine for all employees in a move that affects all Indianapolis-area St. Vincent hospitals.
The healthcare provider made the change in response to emerging COVID-19 variants, such as the delta variant behind the current surge in cases nationally.
Ascension said it conducted a “thorough moral and ethical analysis” in weighing its decision. Ultimately, it decided to mandate the vaccine:
This decision is rooted in our Mission commitment to leading with quality and safety. As a healthcare provider and as a Catholic ministry, ensuring we have a culture of safety for our associates, patients and communities is foundational to our work.
Ascension noted that tens of thousands of employees have already gotten vaccinated, adding that “we must do more to overcome this pandemic as we provide safe environments for those we serve.”
According to the policy:
Ascension will require that all associates be vaccinated against COVID-19, whether or not they provide direct patient care, and whether they work in our sites of care or remotely. This includes associates employed by subsidiaries and partners; physicians and advanced practice providers, whether employed or independent; and volunteers and vendors entering Ascension facilities.
Those covered under the policy must meet the requirement by Nov. 12, 2021.
Ascension said the COVID-19 policy mirrors its current requirements for the flu vaccine. There will be exemptions for those who can’t get vaccinated due to a medical condition or strongly held religious belief.
Other healthcare providers, including IU Health, have also mandated the COVID-19 vaccine for employees.