ILLINOIS (WMBD) — ImpactLife is responding to the growing COVID-19 infection rates with a mandate of its own.
Starting Nov. 1, all 700-plus ImpactLife employees across Illinois, Iowa, Missouri, and Wisconsin will be required to be fully vaccinated. Employees were informed about the requirement Friday morning.
“Our decision comes after several weeks of dialogue and deliberation, with feedback from key stakeholders across our organization,” said ImpactLife Chief Executive Officer Mike Parejko. “Ultimately, the decision to require COVID‐19 vaccination was unanimously supported by our executive management team, our medical leadership, and Board of Directors. We believe this step will help ensure the safety of our staff and the ability to continue to provide our region’s blood supply as we work through the COVID‐19 pandemic.”
Employees can meet the requirement with the Pfizer‐BioNTech vaccine, which has recently received full FDA approval, or with the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines already available under the FDA’s Emergency Use Authorization.
ImpactLife officials said they will consider requests from employees for medical and religious exemptions.
“All of the available vaccines have been shown to be safe and effective in randomized, controlled trials and their effectiveness has been repeatedly confirmed in real‐world experience,” said Dr. Louis Katz, Chief Medical Officer. “Being vaccinated is much safer than getting a COVID‐19 infection and vaccination is the best way to reduce rates of severe illness, hospitalization, and death from COVID‐19. It also reduces transmission to vulnerable contacts.”
Parejko said several hospitals served by ImpactLife have already implemented vaccine requirements for their own employees and vendors.
“These policies include our own ImpactLife staff who deliver blood to hospitals and who work on mobile blood drives hosted by the hospitals we serve,” said Parejko. “It has increasingly become more challenging to meet staffing requirements for blood drives where fully vaccinated staff are required by the host organization.”