PHOENIX — Banner Health announced Tuesday it will require all of its employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19 to stay employed.
With limited exceptions, all employees have until November to get fully vaccinated as a condition of employment.
Banner Health is Arizona's largest private employer and has about 52,000 employees across the state.
“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,” Banner Health President Peter Fine said.
Banner Health said it made the mandate in response to a rise in infections from the Delta variant, a pending lift of the Emergency Use Authorization on the vaccines by the FDA, the need to protect patients and workers, and to get ready for flu season.
National data shows 97% of hospitalizations and 99% of COVID-related deaths are in the unvaccinated population.
Banner Health launched an incentive program for employees to get the shot which includes paid time off to get vaccinated, mileage reimbursement, and points toward its wellness program for discounts on health insurance.