As CMS' requirement looms, at least 174 health systems currently mandate vaccination for their workforces

A woman in a mask gets a vaccine from a female health provider in a mask
Despite pushback from employees and some labor groups, more health systems are taking a hard stance on COVID-19 vaccination as a condition of employment. The FDA's full approval of the Pfizer-BioNTech shot added a new wave of providers to the list. (Getty/FG Trade)

As cases again spiking across the country, top health officials have made it clear that COVID-19 is “a pandemic of the unvaccinated.”

Hospitals and health systems, which are bearing the brunt of the pandemic, are now starting to look inward at the vaccination rates of their own workforces. A growing number of providers are shifting their policies away from simply encouraging staff vaccination to requiring the shots as a condition of employment.

While this hard line has drawn protests and lawsuits from unvaccinated employees who say the requirements infringe on personal freedoms, mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policies have picked up the support of numerous professional and industry organizations.

“COVID-19 vaccines protect healthcare personnel when working both in healthcare facilities and in the community. They provide strong protection against workers unintentionally carrying the disease to work and spreading it to patients and peers,” the American Hospital Association (AHA) said in a July 21 policy statement. “The AHA … supports hospitals and health systems that adopt mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policies for healthcare personnel, with local factors and circumstances shaping whether and how these policies are implemented.”

RELATED: U.S. vaccine rollout prevented up to 1.25M hospitalizations, 279K additional deaths, study finds

Organizations that have taken the leap include major names like Kaiser PermanenteTrinity Health, Banner HealthAtrium Health and the Veterans Health Administration. Across the board, the policies of these and other providers include exemptions for medical, religious or other legally protected reasons.

At the same time, some health systems that are encouraging staff to vaccinate are holding back on making it a hard requirement.

Ballad Health CEO Alan Levine, for instance, told local press that forcing shots on the 22-hospital system’s remaining 38% of unvaccinated workers would likely exacerbate an ongoing nursing shortage.

Others, like Spectrum Health and Southcoast Health initially told employees that the COVID-19 vaccines would be required but only after a shot had received a full clearance from the Food and Drug Administration.

The regulatory approval of Pfizer-BioNTech's Comirnaty for those aged 16 years and older kicked off an additional wave of requirements for numerous hospitals and health systems.

A more recent announcement from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services threatens to hit hospitals' wallets. On Sept. 9 the federal agency said it intends to release an interim final rule in October requiring hospitals, dialysis facilities, ambulatory surgical centers and other facilities to vaccinate their staff as a condition for participating in Medicare and Medicaid.

“There is no question that staff, across any health care setting, who remain unvaccinated pose both direct and indirect threats to patient safety and population health," Xavier Becerra, secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, said in the announcement. "Ensuring safety and access to all patients, regardless of their entry point into the health care system, is essential.”

Here’s a roundup of the provider organizations that have publicly announced or were reported to have adopted a mandatory vaccination policy for all employees (as of Sept. 14) and when those policies will go into effect.


Advocate Aurora Health announced that all of its 75,000 team members must be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 by Oct. 15.

Akron Children's Hospital has told its roughly 6,500 employees that it will require COVID-19 vaccination but did not specify a deadline. 

Allegheny Health Network, part of Highmark, said that it expects all 19,000 eligible staff to be vaccinated by Sept. 30.

AMITA Health said it would be requiring all of its associates to be fully vaccinated by Nov. 12.

Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago said that its workforce of more than 7,500 and other students, contractors, badged vendors and volunteers be vaccinated by Oct. 18.

Ascension Health has told its 160,000 associates that it will require full vaccination by Nov. 12.

Atrium Health will require more than 70,000 employees across 40 hospitals to be vaccinated by Oct. 31.

Avera Health will require full vaccination for its more than 19,000 physicians and employees, as well as volunteers, by Dec. 1.

Banner Health’s roughly 52,000 employees must be vaccinated by Nov. 1.

Baptist Health in Jacksonville, Florida will require all of its roughly 12,500 employees to be fully vaccinated by Nov. 15.

Baptist Health in Louisville, Kentucky told its nearly 23,000 employees that it will be requiring COVID-19 vaccination.

Bartlett Regional Hospital is reportedly requiring employees to be vaccinated, but has not yet detailed any deadlines.

Bay State Health has told its approximately 12,000 employees, including clinical staff, contractors, volunteers, students, those working remotely or other on-site business partners, to be fully vaccinated by Oct. 1

Baylor Scott & White told press that its more than 49,000 employees and 7,300 providers, along with volunteers, vendors, students and contract staff, will need to be fully vaccinated by Oct. 1

Beacon Health System is requiring its more than 7,000 associates, 1,100 provider staff and all others “regularly working” at its facilities to be fully vaccinated by Oct. 1.

Beth Israel Lahey Health will require all 4,000 clinicians and 35,000 total employees be fully vaccinated by Oct. 31. 

BJC HealthCare said that its workforce of more than 30,000 employees and others working in its facilities must be fully vaccinated by Sept. 15.

Bon Secours Mercy Health reportedly will require vaccination by the early fall. 

Boulder Community Health will require all employees and physicians to be fully vaccinated by Nov. 1.

Boys Town National Research Hospital joined other Nebraska providers in a joint statement committing to a vaccination requirement. 

Broadlawns Medical Center has given its 1,500 employees until Nov. 1 to be fully vaccinated. 

Bronson Healthcare will require employees, medical staff providers, contracted personnel, students, volunteers, vendors and others to be fully vaccinated by Dec. 1.

Bryan Health signed onto a joint statement committing to a vaccine requirement for its more than 5,000 staff members. 

Cape Fear Valley Health will require employees, physicians, students, vendors and volunteers to be vaccined by Oct. 1.

CHI Health is requiring all of its more than 12,000 employees to be fully vaccinated by Nov. 1.

CHI Memorial Hospital will require all physicians, advanced practice providers, volunteers and others caring for patients within its facilities to be fully vaccinated by Nov. 1.

CHI Saint Joseph Health is reportedly requiring its employees to be vaccinated, with details to come at a later time.

Children's Hospital and Medical Center in Omaha said it will require vaccination for its team mebers, but did not outline a cutoff.

Children's Hospital Colorado said it will be requiring its more than 5,000 full-time employees and other team members to have completed their vaccination series by Oct. 1

Children's Hospital of Philadelphia has told its staff that vaccination will be mandatory for those who are on-site or interacting with patients and families. The letter to staff did not specify when the requirement would go into effect. 

Children's National Hospital's president said in an emailed statement that it is giving the remaining unvaccinated quarter of its roughly 5,300-person workforce until Sept. 30 to be fully vaccinated.

Christ Hospital Health Network will require all 6,500 employees, physicians, students, volunteers and contractors to be vaccinated by Oct. 1.

ChristianaCare said it will require all of its roughly 13,400 employees, medical-dental staff, residents, students, contracted employees, temporary labor, volunteers and vendors to be fully vaccinated by Sept. 21.

Cincinnati Children's has told its approximately 16,500 employees, as well as students, contractors, badged vendors and volunteers, to be vaccinated by Oct. 1. 

Columbia Memorial Health is requiring front-line staff, volunteers, students and operations staff be vaccinated "as soon as practicable."

CommonSpirit Health said that all 150,000 employees across the non-profit system, including physicians, advanced practice providers, volunteers and others caring for patients in its facilities, must be fully vaccinated by Nov. 1.

Community Health Network expects its 16,000 employees to be fully vaccinated by Sept. 15.

Concord Hospital will reportedly require vaccination for its roughly 2,800 employees by Oct. 23. 

Cone Health has told 13,000-plus employees and other medical staff, students and volunteers to be fully vaccinated by July 30.

Connecticut Children’s Medical Center reportedly told employees they’ll have until Sept. 30 to be vaccinated.

Cook County Health announced that all of its nearly 6,000 employees will be required to be fully vaccinated by Oct. 1. 

CoxHealth said that all of its nearly 12,000 employees, including physicians, vendors and students, must have their first dose of a vaccine by Oct. 15

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute adjusted a previously announced policy dependent on FDA clearance. It will now require all members of its workforce to be fully vaccinated by Oct. 1.

Dartmouth-Hitchcock Health is requiring its approximately 13,000 employees, including those working remotely and per diem employees, to be fully vaccinated by Sept. 30.

Dayton Children's will require its 3,000-plus staff, volunteers, students and onsite contractors to be vaccinated, but did not specify a deadline in its announcement. 

Doylestown Health is reportedly requiring all employees be vaccinated by Oct. 4.

Duke Health will require its roughly 22,000 employees to be vaccinated by Sept. 21.

DuPage Medical Group has announced a mandatory vaccination policy for its nearly 5,000 team members. It did not publicly announce a deadline.

Edward-Elmhurst Health has mandated COVID-19 vaccination for all 8,500 employees, including nurses, physicians and 1,200 volunteers, by Oct. 25.

Ellis Medicine's more than 3,300 employees and other contractors will be required to receive their final vaccine dose by Oct. 1.

Envision Healthcare said that its more than 30,000 physicians, advanced practice providers and clinical support workers must be fully vaccinated by Nov. 1.

Essentia Health announced that all 13,284 employees as well as volunteers, students, non-employed medical staff and others will need to receive their first vaccine dose by Oct. 1 and their second by Nov. 1. 

Emory Healthcare informed more than 24,000 employees and providers that they are expected to be fully vaccinated by Oct. 1. 

Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady Health System, which has 10,827 full time employees, said it will require proof of vaccination status by Sept. 15 to avoid unpaid suspension and Nov. 30 to avoid termination.

Foundation health Partners has reportedly approved a vaccine requirement for its staff. 

Geisinger said it will be requiring all of its nearly 24,000 employees to be vaccinated by Oct. 15.

Hackensack Meridian Health told its 35,000 employees to receive their first vaccine by Oct. 1 and be fully vaccinated by Nov. 15.

Hartford HealthCare has told its roughly 33,000 employees to show proof of vaccination by Sept. 30.

Hawai'i Pacific Health said it will have all employees vaccinated by Oct. 1.

Health and Human Services (HHS) said it will be requiring more than 25,000 members of its healthcare workforce, such as the Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, Indian Health Services and National Institutes of Health. The announcement did not include a deadline.

Henry Ford Health System said it will require its 33,000 workforce of team members, students, volunteers and contractors to be vaccinated by Sept. 10.

HonorHealth said that its 12,800 employees will need to submit proof of COVID-19 vaccination by Nov. 1. 

Houston Methodist was the first to mandate that its employees be fully vaccinated by a June 7 deadline. This led to 24,947 vaccinated employees, 285 with a medical or religious exemption, 332 granted deferrals for pregnancy or other reasons and 153 terminations or voluntary resignations.

Indiana University Health told its 36,000 employees to be fully vaccinated by Sept. 1.

Inova Health System is requiring its roughly 18,000 employees to be fully vaccinated by Sept. 1.

Inspira Health said in an emailed statement that it will be requiring all 6,200-plus employees to be fully vaccinated by Oct. 15.

Integris Health will require all employees be fully vaccinated by Nov. 1.

Jefferson Health said all 34,000-plus employees and medical staff as well as those in academic environments be vaccinated by Oct. 29. 

JPS Health Network said it would adopt a vaccine requirement for its more than 7,200 employees upon FDA approval. That policy is ostensibly in effect, although the system did not specify how long after the approval it would set a deadline.

Kadlec Regional Medical Center has given more than 3,700 employees at its hospitals, nursing homes and other locations until Sept. 30 to show proof of vaccination and Oct. 18 to be fully vaccinated.

Kaiser Permanente said it will require its more than 216,000 employees and 23,000 Permanente Medical Group physicians to be fully vaccinated by Sept. 30.

Keck Medicine of USC is requiring all healthcare workers, volunteers, contractors and School of Medicine staff and trainees to be fully vaccinated by Sept. 20.

Kettering Health will require all employees, medical staff, students, volunteers and on-site contractors and vendors to be vaccinated by Oct. 4.

KU Health System will require all of its 10,000-plus employees to be vaccinated by Dec. 1.

MaineHealth has told its 23,000 workers to be vaccinated by Oct. 1. 

Marshfield Clinic Health System said its over 10,000 employees will need to be vaccinated by Nov. 15. 

Mary Washington Healthcare announced that all employees, medical staff and volunteers must be vaccinated by Oct. 31.

Mass General Brigham updated an earlier vaccine policy tied to regulatory clearance. It will now require all of its roughly 74,000 employees to be fully vaccinated by Oct. 15. 

Mayo Clinic said it is expecting all 65,000 of its employees to be fully vaccinated by Sept. 17

Med Center Health is requiring those in leadership positions to receive their first vaccine dose by Aug. 9 and all other employees, including medical staff, students, residents, fellows and vendors, to receive their first jab by Sept. 1.

MemorialCare will require its more than 10,000 employees to become fully vaccinated by Sept. 30

Medical University of South Carolina told its roughly 17,000 employees to be vaccinated by April 30. It fired five who did not comply.

Memorial Hermann Health System said vaccines will be mandatory for its 28,000-person workforce and other affiliated providers and volunteers. Managers and above will need to receive their shots by Sept. 11, while all other employees will need to be compliant by Oct. 9. 

MetroHealth said it will require its 7,800 employees to be vaccinated by Oct. 30.

Mercy, based in St. Louis, announced that it will require its more than 40,000 employees to be vaccinated by Sept. 30.

MercyOne, in Iowa, is requiring its more than 20,000 employees and medical staff be vaccinated. The announcement did not outline a cutoff.

Meritus Health is requiring all of its nearly 3,000 employees, 500 medical staff, 24 volunteers and other contractors and partners be vaccinated by Sept. 1.

Methodist Health System told its roughly 10,000 employees as well as physicians, medical staff, volunteers, vendors, students and contract staff to be fully vaccinated by Oct. 1.

Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare will require all 13,000 associates—staff, physicians and executives—to be fully vaccinated by Oct. 31.

Michigan Medicine, as part of a policy extending to all University of Michigan students, faculty and staff, will have its roughly 30,000 employees submit proof of vaccination by Aug. 30.

Millinocket Regional Hospital said it would require staff to be vaccinated within six weeks of an FDA approval. That requirement would ostensibly go into effect Oct. 18.

Minnie Hamilton Health System said it will be requiring vaccinations for all employees

Mon Health will require COVID-19 vaccinations for its employees but did not specify a deadline.

Monadnock Community Hospital is reportedly mandating COVID-19 vaccination for all employees.

Mount Sinai Health System has told all non-remote faculty and staff to receive their first shot of a vaccine by Sept. 13, with details to come on the later dose.

Nationwide Children's Hospital said all of its 13,000-plus employees, care providers, volunteers and vendors will need to be fully vaccinated by Oct. 1. 

Nebraska Medicine signed onto a joint letter with surrounding systems committing to an employee vaccine mandate. 

Nebraska Surgical Hospital signed onto a joint letter committing to an employee vaccine mandate. 

Nemours Children's Health System announced a mandatory vaccine policy for its more than 4,600 associates requiring a first dose by Sept. 1 and their second by Oct. 6.

NewYork-Presbyterian told its 20,000 employees they must receive at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine by Sept. 1

New York City is requiring the roughly 42,000-person workforce of its public hospital system, Health and Hospitals, to be vaccinated by the beginning of August.

North Country Health said it would require vaccination 60 days after the first FDA approval, or Oct. 22.

North Kansas City Hospital will require all employees to be vaccinated by Nov. 12. 

Northern Light Health said it would require vaccination for its roughly 12,000 employees within six weeks of a shot received full FDA clearance. That requirement ostensibly goes into effect Oct. 4.

NorthShore University HealthSystem has reportedly announced that its roughly 13,000 employees must be fully vaccinated by Oct. 31. 

Northwestern Medicine will be requiring workers to be fully vaccinated by Oct. 31. Those who don't receive vaccinations or an exemption will have to undergo weekly testing until Jan. 1, at which time they will be released.

Norton Healthcare is requiring its more than 16,500 employees to receive their first shot by Sept. 15.

Novant Health said that it will require all team members, about 35,500 people, to be fully vaccinated by Sept. 15.

Ochsner Health said it will require all of its more than 32,000 physicians, providers and employees to be vaccinated by Oct. 29

OhioHealth has announced that its 35,000 associates, volunteers and providers must be fully vaccinated by Dec. 1.

OSF HealthCare will enforce vaccination across its nearly 24,000-person workforce by Sept. 30.

PeaceHealth announced that all employees, including providers, students, contractors, vendors and volunteers, must be fully vaccinated by Aug. 31.

Penn Medicine’s 44,000 employees must be fully vaccinated by Sept. 1. The system also requires all new hires to provide evidence of vaccination or be vaccinated as of July 1.

Pennsylvania has told all 25,000 employees in state-run healthcare facilities to be fully vaccinated by Sept. 7.

Perry County Memorial Hospital will require all employees to be vaccinated by Oct. 4.

Phoenix Children's Hospital will require all employees to be vaccinated by Oct. 1

Piedmont Healthcare said that all doctors, hospital leaders and new employees must be vaccinated by Sept. 1 and noted that a similar policy would be rolled out “in the near future.”

Presbyterian Healthcare Services is reportedly requiring its workforce of over 13,000 people to be vaccinated, effective Aug. 27.

Premier Health said it will have all 14,000-plus employees and providers vaccinated by Dec. 1.

Providence has announced that all 120,000 caregiver employees will be required (in states where it is permitted) to comply with a mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy by Sept. 30. 

Pullman Regional Hospital said that all employees will need to be vaccinated by Oct. 27.

Queen's Health Systems is requiring its more than 8,000 employees and over 1,500 affiliated physicians to be vaccinated by Oct. 1.

Regional One Health announced a mandatory policy for all employees with an Oct. 31 deadline for full vaccination.

Roper St. Francis Healthcare is requiring full vaccination by Nov. 1.

Rush University Medical Center will require all staff, contractors and volunteers to be fully vaccinated by Oct. 1.

RWJBarnabas Health told all employees in supervisory positions and above to complete their vaccinations by June 30 and recently laid off six who did not comply. The system said during its initial announcement that it anticipates a similar requirement will be extended to the rest of its 25,000-person staff “in the coming days.”

Saint Luke's Health System in Missouri is requiring all employees to be fully vaccinated by Oct. 30.

Sanford Health has made COVID-19 vaccination mandatory across its nearly 48,000 employees, effective Nov. 1. 

Saratoga Hospital in New York will require employees to be vaccinated by Sept. 7.

SCL Health told all Colorado associates, providers, medical staff, contractors, vendors, temporary workers, students and volunteers to provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination by Nov. 1. Employees in Montana are exempt due to state law.

Self Regional Healthcare will require all team members to be vaccinated by Sept. 30.

Sentara Healthcare is requiring all team members be fully vaccinated by Oct. 18.

Sinai Chicago is giving its 3,500 employees until Oct. 15 to be fully vaccinated. 

Southcoast Health confirmed it will be moving forward with a previously announced plan to require vaccination upon FDA clearance.

Spectrum Health said that it is moving forward with plans to require shots for its more than 31,000 employees within eight weeks of an FDA approval. That policy would ostensibly go into effect Oct. 18.

Spencer Hospital is requiring all 507 hospital employees to be fully vaccinated by Dec. 1.

SSM Health is requiring its nearly 40,000 employers, providers and volunteers to be vaccinated by the end of September.

St. Elizabeth Healthcare in Ohio reportedly will require vaccination by early fall. 

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital has told more than 3,600 employees to be vaccinated by Sept. 9.

St. Luke's Health in Houston is requiring more than 16,000 workers and on-site volunteers to be fully vaccinated by Nov. 1.

St. Luke’s Health System in Idaho is requiring employees, providers, contractors, students and volunteers to have at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine by Sept. 1 but did not provide a date for full vaccination.

St. Luke’s Hospital, an independent facility based in Missouri, is requiring team members, volunteers, physicians, independent practitioners in its facilities and vendors with patient contact to be vaccinated by Aug. 13.

Summa Health said that all employees will need to be fully vaccinated by Oct. 1.

Sutter Health announced a policy requiring its entire workforce of more than 55,000 people to be fully vaccinated by Sept. 30. 

Swedish Health Services reportedly said it would be requiring vaccines for its roughly 12,500 employees but did not offer a cutoff date.

Texas Children's Hospital will have all full-time, part-time, per diem employees, medical staff and contractors to receive their first vaccine dose by Sept. 21 and their second by Oct. 19. 

Texas Health Resources announced a mandatory vaccination policy for its more than 23,000 employees as well as physicians, advanced practice providers, students, vendors and contractors working at its locations, effective Sept. 10.

Tidelands Health is mandating all employers, employed providers, volunteers, students and contractors be vaccinated by Sept. 7.

Tower Health said it would require its 14,000 employees to be vaccinated once a shot received full FDA approval. That policy is ostensibly in effect, although the system did not outline a specific timeline following the approval. It is already requiring those in Philadelphia to meet the city's Oct. 15 deadline.

Trinity Health has rolled out a vaccine mandate for its workforce of 117,000 employees including clinical staff, remote employees, contractors and “those conducting business in its healthcare facilities.” Most locations falling under the nonprofit giant will require proof of vaccination by Sept. 21.

Truman Medical Centers/University Health is requiring its 4,500 to be vaccinated by Sept. 20. 

UCHealth said it will mandate vaccination across its 26,000 employees as well as providers, volunteers and other partners by Oct. 1.

UCLA Health is adhering to a University of California policy requiring all faculty, staff, academic appointees and students be fully vaccinated by Sept. 1. 

UK HealthCare will be required for all employees and other working in its facilities. Employees will be required to initiate a complete vaccination series by Sept. 15. 

UNC Health mandated that everyone working at six hospitals as well as its physicians’ practices and shared services locations to be vaccinated by Sept. 21.

United Regional Health Care will require its 2,300 employees and more than 300 medical staff members to be fully vaccinated by Nov. 1. 

University Hospital in New Jersey said that it is requiring all staff to be vaccinated.

University of Alabama at Birmingham Health System said that it is requiring all employees and others working in its hospitals and clinics be fully vaccinated by Nov. 12.

University of Chicago Medical Center is requiring its roughly 10,000-member workforce be fully vaccinated and said that it would be implementing a similar policy for UChicago Medicine Ingalls Memorial. The provider was still determining a timeline for its mandate at the time of the announcement.

University of Louisville Health will require all team members and providers to be fully vaccinated as of Sept. 1.

University of Maryland Medical System will require COVID-19 vaccination for its 29,000 employees and new hires beginning Sept. 1.

University of Utah Health will require all hospital and clinic staff be vaccinated for COVID-19, with the mandate going into effect during mid- to late September.

Uvalde (Texas) Memorial Hospital is requiring its 493 employees to receive an initial or final dose of a COVID-19 shot by Aug. 6.

UW Health is requiring all 21,000 employees to receive their first vaccine dose by Oct. 1 and their second by Nov. 1.

Valley Children's Hospital said it will require all staff, physicians, vendors and other conducting business in its facilities to be vaccinated by Sept. 21.  

Valley Health has told affiliated providers, contractors and 6,300 employees to be fully vaccinated by Nov. 1.

The Veterans Health Administration is requiring all Title 38 Department of Veterans Affairs employees to be vaccinated, Secretary Denis McDonough announced July 26. Each employee will have eight weeks to be fully vaccinated, he said, which from the time of announcement creates a Sept. 20 cutoff. 

Virginia Mason Franciscan Health reportedly announced that it will require all of its roughly 20,000 employees to be vaccinated. Details regarding deadlines are still being finalized. 

Virtua Health has ordered everyone on its more than 14,000-person workforce to be fully vaccinated by Sept. 15.

Wake Forest Baptist Health will require COVID-19 vaccines among its employees. The academic health system has not publicly stated when the mandate will take place.

Waterbury Health is requiring mandatory vaccination at all Prospect Waterbury HEALTH locations. It did not outline a deadline.

Wellforce said in June that it would be waiting for an FDA approval before requiring vaccination for its more than 13,000 employees. That policy is ostensibly in effect, although the system did not specify how long afterward it would set a deadline.

WVU Health System said it will require all 21,720 employees to be fully vaccinated by Oct. 31. 

Yale New Haven Health leadership said in an early July press conference that it would be implementing a mandatory employee COVID-19 vaccination policy but was still working out details around timing.