Medical leaders urge COVID-19 vaccinations for Black, American Indian/Indigenous, Latino, and communities of color

Concerned about the steady rise in COVID-19 among unvaccinated patients, Hennepin Healthcare caregivers are speaking out to encourage community support for the vaccine – especially among those who are Black, Indigenous, and People of Color.

“I know everyone is tired of hearing this message, but as providers who see this day in and day out, we can’t remain quiet when every day we’re caring for members of our communities who are becoming infected with or dying from this preventable virus,” explains Dr. Aaron Robinson, one of the few American Indian Academic Emergency Physicians in the U.S. “It’s disheartening: your life matters and you make a difference in our community. Please make the choice to get vaccinated.”

On Wednesday, September 1 at 10 a.m. Dr. Robinson will be joined by some of his colleagues to speak to the importance of COVID-19 vaccination and what they are seeing – as well as what they do NOT want to see – in the emergency department and throughout the hospital in the coming months. They will be joined by some of their peers as well as others who have been affected by COVID-19 and support the vaccine.

The news conference will take place in the Stillman Conference Room at Hennepin Healthcare’s Clinic & Specialty Center located at 715 S. 8th St., Minneapolis, 55404.

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Hennepin Healthcare System announces COVID-19 vaccine requirement for employees

Hennepin Healthcare is proud of our team’s commitment to the people we serve – a commitment that has driven one of the highest employee COVID-19 vaccination rates among metro hospitals. As we watch with increasing concern the continued spread and mutation of the virus, we are aligning with other healthcare systems and CDC recommendations for healthcare personnel by making COVID-19 vaccination a requirement for all team members, who must receive their first dose of vaccine by October 1 and their second dose in a two-dose series by November 1.

The COVID-19 vaccination requirement applies to all Hennepin Healthcare System employees, including those who are working remotely, as well as others working within our facilities. Employees may request an exemption from vaccination for limited medical reasons consistent with CDC recommendations 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’s decision to implement this requirement comes after collecting feedback from unvaccinated employees and allowing opportunities to address concerns or barriers.

Since rolling out its first employee vaccination event on December 18, 2020, more than 86% of Hennepin Healthcare’s 7000 team members have received the COVID-19 vaccine. Washing hands often using soap and water or hand sanitizer, keeping a safe distance from others, and wearing a mask or face covering also help reduce the risk for spreading COVID.