Banner Health mandates all staff be fully vaccinated by November 1

Banner Health, Arizona’s largest private employer, announced that it will be requiring all employees to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by November 1.

Banner Health employs roughly 52,000 people in Arizona. Headquartered in Phoenix, it is one of the largest secular nonprofit health care systems in the country with hospitals and medical facilities in six states.

The decision to mandate vaccinations was made to protect both their own employees and the people they serve. In an email announcing the decision, Peter Fine, president and CEO for Banner Health, said they are protecting employees and patients.

“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”

The announcement comes as the Delta variant rips through the country. Reports from the CDC have estimated that the Delta variant now accounts for 84% of all cases in the US. Reports have estimated over 99% of these new cases occur in unvaccinated individuals.

Vaccination rates have consistently fallen since May. A recent poll by Yahoo News/YouGov revealed that 29% of unvaccinated Americans believe that the vaccine is more dangerous than the disease.

Fine reiterated the safety and efficacy of the vaccines.

“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.”