Last Spring, Saint Luke's, Primary Health, and Saint Alphonsus announced that all employees and contractors would be fully vaccinated to remain employed. We've reported that the Idaho National Guard members are now required to take the vaccination or face an end to their military service. Now another Idaho hospital group will need all of their employees to be vaccinated.  

Saltzer Heath, which Intermountain Hospital owns, will now require all of its employees to be vaccinated. The announcement was delivered last week to all employees in the Intermountain Hospital system, which includes Saltzer Health. According to the Saltzer Health website, all healthcare workers and those who work' in their facilities will be required to take the second dose of Phizer or Moderna by February 9th, 2022. 

Saltzer's parent company said compliance with the Biden Administration's Path Out of the Pandemic COVID-19 Action Plan was the reason for the new policy. "In order to remain fully compliant with federal requirements to care for the hundreds of thousands of patients in the communities that we serve, as well as for the safety and well-being of all patients and our caregivers, we've carefully made the decision to add this requirement," said Mark Briesacher, MD, chief physician executive and senior vice president of Intermountain.

"Following this government rule will enable us to continue to care for patients and members in our communities and help keep our caregivers as safe as possible, which is critical to our mission," he added.

Several Saltzer employees have confidently reached out to us, saying they were shocked by their employer's decision. They told us that they were considering losing their jobs rather than being forced to take the vaccine. Their comments have echoed the healthcare workers who've formed the group 'Take A Stand Now.'  The group has called on the speaker of the house to reconvene the legislature to pass a law prohibiting private employers from a vaccine mandate being a condition of employment.  

The legislature will meet this month, but there are currently no plans to address the private employer vaccination mandate. The legislature will look to pass a state law protecting Idaho workers from the Biden mandate.  

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