The vaccination deadline is here for tens of thousands of Arizona health care workers

By Katherine Davis-Young
Published: Monday, November 1, 2021 - 6:05am
Updated: Monday, November 1, 2021 - 7:02am

Audio icon Download mp3 (561.68 KB)

Monday is the deadline for tens of thousands of health care workers in Arizona to be vaccinated for COVID-19. 

Banner Health, Dignity Health, HonorHealth and Valleywise Health each gave employees until Nov. 1 to get fully vaccinated.

Valleywise Health reports 98% of its 4,000 employees have met the deadline.

regina villa vaccine
Katherine Davis-Young/KJZZ
Regina Villa, Valleywise Health ICU nurse manager, gets a coronavirus vaccine from Machrina Leach on Dec. 16, 2020. Villa was among the first in Arizona to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

"As our community’s public teaching hospital and safety net system of care, we have a special responsibility to protect the most vulnerable and those who are at severe risk for disease. We’re proud that the vast majority of our employees made the decision to protect and support each other and our patients, who are at the center of everything we do. We know that this was a difficult decision for some, and for those who chose not to get vaccinated, we must respect their decision, wish them well and thank them for their service to the community," a spokesperson for Valleywise Health wrote in a statement.

Other hospitals haven’t released compliance rates yet, but nationwide, evidence suggests employer vaccine requirements are highly effective.

Still, some Arizona hospitals are facing pushback. Dozens of employees last week staged a protest over Mayo Clinic’s January vaccination deadline. Dignity Health has also extended the deadline for workers at Yavapai Regional Medical Center facility in Prescott over compliance concerns.