Allina Health announced today that the organization will implement a system wide policy to make the COVID-19 vaccine a condition of employment at Allina Health.
Buffalo Hospital is part of the Allina System. Allina also operates two clinics in Buffalo, as well as clinics in St. Michael and Elk River.
Allina Health is dedicated to preventing illness and caring for the communities we serve. The timing of this decision is informed by the growing concern of our clinicians and patients about the rapid rise of COVID-19 cases being driven by highly transmissible variants. As health care providers, we feel strongly that we play a unique role in demonstrating leadership to the community on important public health matters.
More contagious variants of the virus continue to spread and we are seeing case counts and hospitalizations increase. We know vaccination against the virus is our best path to end the pandemic. It is urgent that we do everything we can to protect our patients, staff and communities and reduce further strain on our health care system.
“The entire Allina Health team has been exceptional in rising to the challenges over the past year and a half,” said John Misa, MD, vice president and clinical officer of Allina Health. “Ensuring that our employees are vaccinated not only sends an important signal to the community that we embrace safety, but that we continue to take every possible step to bring about the end of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Allina Health will begin requiring COVID-19 vaccination by Oct, 1 2021 for all employees, volunteers, students and contracted staff, with limited exemptions for medical or religious reasons. By that date, employees will need to receive at least one vaccine dose. Currently, more than 73 percent of Allina Health employees have been vaccinated against COVID-19.
As part of our Commitment to Care, Allina Health has continued requiring masks in all our facilities and recently announced a required influenza vaccine policy as added safety measures for our patients and staff. By January 1, 2022 to coincide with the 2021-2022 influenza season, all employees, volunteers, students and contracted staff must receive the influenza vaccination, with limited exemptions.