By Jennifer McRae

(CBS4)– Employees working for Banner Health will need to be vaccinated against COVID-19 by Nov. 1 if they want to keep working for the company. Banner Health made the announcement on Tuesday, saying that being vaccinated will protect patients, team members and the community.

(credit: Getty Images)

“We care for some of the most vulnerable people in our communities and we owe it to them to take every measure possible to ensure the safest care environment,” said Peter Fine, president and CEO for Banner Health, in a company-wide email on July 20. “… we are taking this step to reduce risk for our patients, their families, visitors and each other. Safety is an absolute top priority and the COVID vaccine mandate reflects that commitment. The vaccine data has fully supported the safety and efficacy to prevent disease and reduce its severity. There is overwhelming evidence for us to act on behalf of the communities that rely on us to care for and protect them.”

Banner said they are implementing the requirement for several reasons, including the rise of the Delta variant, as well as to protect patients and its workforce. About 52,000 people work for Banner Health in six states.

Jennifer McRae