INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana's largest hospital system, Indiana University Health, will require all its doctors, nurses and other employees to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by Sept. 1.
IU Health announced the policy Tuesday in a statement that said vaccines are a safe, effective way to protect patients and help reduce the spread of the coronavirus. The health system added that it's required the flu vaccine since 2012, along with several other vaccines as a condition of employment.
In 2013, IU Health fired eight employees, including three nurses, for refusing to get a flu vaccination, the Indianapolis Business Journal reported.
IU Health said employees will be allowed to apply for a deferral or exemption from the COVID-19 vaccine based on medical or religious reasons, and those applications will be reviewed on an individual basis
The COVID-19 vaccination requirement will affect more than 3,000 doctors and 31,585 other employees, from administrators and billing clerks to therapists and nurses’ aides, who work in IU Health’s 15 hospitals and dozens of outpatient clinics.
IU Health said weeks ago that it was only recommending, not requiring, that employees get a COVID-19 vaccination, but added that it was continuing to review the policy.
IU Health's COVID-19 vaccination announcement came the same day Indiana University announced that it had modified its COVID-19 vaccination requirement to make it optional that students and employees provide proof of getting the shots.
School officials changed IU's COVID-19 policy following protests from many state officials.