Hennepin Healthcare to require COVID-19 vaccines for all employees

Hennepin Healthcare announced Tuesday it will require all employees to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

So far, more than 86% of Hennepin Healthcare’s 7,000 employees are vaccinated. The remaining 1,000 or so unvaccinated employees have until Oct. 1 to get their first shot and must be fully vaccinated by Nov. 1, according to the release.

The requirement applies to all employees across Hennepin Healthcare, including those working remotely. Some exemptions will be allowed for medical reasons or sincerely held religious beliefs.

"The COVID vaccine is safe and the best defense available to reduce the risk of death, severe illness, and continued spread of the virus," Hennepin Healthcare said in a statement. "Hennepin Healthcare’s decision to implement this requirement comes after collecting feedback from unvaccinated employees and allowing opportunities to address concerns or barriers."

More and more health care providers across the country are requiring COVID-19 vaccines as a condition of employment as the delta variant causes a new flare-up in coronavirus infections, hospitalizations and deaths. The list of medical systems in Minnesota to require the vaccine has grown to include Mayo Clinic, HealthPartners, Allina Health, Fairview Health Services and Children’s Minnesota.