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UnityPoint Health System Requires Vaccination for All Employees by November

Angela Weiss
AFP via Getty Images
To understand vaccine-induced immunity more fully, researchers are comparing antibody levels in people who received the Moderna vaccine but still got COVID-19 with levels in people who got the vaccine but didn't fall ill.

One of the health care systems serving the Quad Cities will require all employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19 by this fall.

On Thursday, UnityPoint Health announced a vaccination requirement for all 33,000 employees in Iowa, Illinois, and Wisconsin. Dr. Nathan Durick, President of the Medical Staff at UnityPoint Health-Trinity, says this mandate has been under consideration for several months, but became more urgent in recent days with a surge in coronavirus infections across the country.

"Across the country, I've followed it pretty closely and there's probably north of 90 or 100 medical systems that have made the same mandate and so I think this is going to be commonplace and we've seen in private and public industries that a similar thing happens. Really the way to get ahead of this and end the pandemic is through vaccination. That is the only way. We'll continue to battle variants if we don't vaccinate our population."

UnityPoint Health Employees who do not become vaccinated by November 1st will have to resign or be fired unless they have an exemption for medical or religious reasons.

Durick estimates more than 90% of the medical staff at UnityPoint in the Quad Cities is already fully vaccinated as well as more than 60% of all employees.

UnityPoint Health has hospitals in the Quad Cities, Peoria, Cedar Rapids, and Des Moines.