INDIANAPOLIS– The Health and Hospital Corporation of Marion County (HHC) announced Thursday all employees in its group must be fully vaccinated by Sept. 20.
This includes those who work for the Marion County Public Health Department, Eskenazi Health, Indianapolis Emergency Medical Services (IEMS) and long-term care facilities.
HHC said the mandate must be fulfilled regardless of the employee’s work location or role. A process to request exemptions for health or religious reasons is available.
“While we know the majority of our employees have already received the COVID-19 vaccine, ensuring that all staff and providers get their shot is a critical step toward protecting the safety of our workforce, our patients, and our community,” said Paul Babcock, HHC President and Chief Executive Officer. “Vaccination lessens your risk of death from COVID by about 100-fold. We continue to urge everyone in our community who has not yet done so to walk-in and get your COVID-19 vaccine today.”
HHC says data confirms the vaccine is safe and effective and can lessen the symptoms in the rare cases where those who are vaccinated test positive.
“This is the most strictly monitored vaccine safety process in U.S. history,” HHC said in a statement.
“Well over three billion COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered around the world, and based on the data we review every day, we are confident that the benefits of the vaccine far outweigh any risks, and that vaccination is the clear path out of this pandemic,” said Dr. Virginia Caine, Director and Chief Medical Officer of the Marion County Public Health Department. “One of our primary goals both within our workforce and our community has been to address vaccine concerns, and these efforts will continue.”
HHC says the mandate comes as pandemic-related hospitalization are rising in the United States.
“Health care providers recognize the special duty we have to protect patients and our communities,” said Dr. Lisa Harris, Chief Executive Officer of Eskenazi Health. “By requiring the vaccine, we are demonstrating our commitment to ensuring our health care facilities are safe spaces for everyone, and that our staff is healthy and available to care for our community.”