IU Health employees to protest COVID-19 vaccine mandate this weekend

Kelly Gooch - Print  | 

Some employees at IU Health are pushing back against the Indianapolis-based health system's COVID-19 vaccination mandate, according to local news station WISH.  

IU Health announced June 1 that it will require all team members to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by Sept. 1. The health system is allowing workers to apply for a deferral or exemption based on medical or religious reasons.

Now, some IU Health employees and other healthcare workers in Indiana plan to protest June 12 behind IU Health's Fairbanks Hall, according to the report. 

Protest organizers told WISH they seek to change the decisions of healthcare organizations in the U.S. that are requiring vaccination for employees

"There are plenty of people that are still on the fence, and they just want to have the right to make that choice," Traci Staley, an IU Health employee, said in an interview with the news station. "The biggest issue is that employers really should not be able to mandate the medical choices that we make."

IU Health Chief Medical Executive David Ingram, MD, issued a statement about the protest, in which he cited the need to protect patients and help reduce the spread of COVID-19 in facilities and in the community. 

Dr. Ingram also cited the safety and efficacy of the vaccines and said, "Pfizer and Moderna have submitted their COVID-19 vaccine clinical trial study results for full FDA approval."

IU Health employees seeking an exemption must apply for one by July, according to WISH. Those among IU Health's 36,000-person workforce who don't comply or get an exemption will lose their employment. 

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