ARIZONA NEWS

Phoenix Children’s, Sonora Quest to require COVID-19 vaccines for staff

Jul 30, 2021, 2:00 PM

(Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)...

(Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

(Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

PHOENIX – Two more major Arizona health care providers — Phoenix Children’s and Sonora Quest Laboratories — said Friday they will require staff to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

All Phoenix Children’s employees will have to be vaccinated by Oct. 1.

“Phoenix Children’s is proud that a majority of our staff is already fully vaccinated, and we will support remaining employees with becoming vaccinated ahead of the deadline,” Carol Klimas, a spokeswoman for the hospital and its affiliated facilities, said in a statement.

The Sonora Quest mandate is for employees who have direct patient interactions or who work regularly at Banner Health facilities and will go into effect Nov. 1.

“Our priority has always been and will always be evidence-based science and the health of our patients and team members,” Dave Dexter, Sonora Quest Laboratories/Laboratory Sciences of Arizona president and CEO, said in a press release. “The evidence shows vaccinations are the best way to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19.”

Banner Health, Arizona’s largest hospital system, announced on July 20 it will require employees to be vaccinated by Nov. 1.

Three days later, Honor Health updated its policy to make COVID-19 vaccination a condition of employment by Nov. 1.

The growing push for vaccines comes as the fast-spreading delta variant of the virus drives case and hospitalization numbers to their highest levels in months.

Health officials say that nearly all of the serious illnesses and deaths from COVID-19 are among people who aren’t vaccinated.

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Phoenix Children’s, Sonora Quest to require COVID-19 vaccines for staff