Handful of Epic employees quit over COVID-19 vaccine requirement

Epic’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate for employees went into effect on Friday. The electronic health record vendor said that most workers had chosen to be vaccinated, but fewer than 0.5% had chosen to leave the company instead.   

Given that there are about 9,600 people at company headquarters in Verona, Wisconsin, that equates to fewer than 50 employees quitting over the requirement.   

“The vast majority of staff support vaccinations and understand it plays a critical role in the safety of everyone, including our customers and their patients,” said Epic in a statement to Healthcare IT News.   

Epic did not respond to questions about whether the employees in question had been offered severance.   

Epic first announced the requirement at the beginning of August, along with the establishment of new mask-wearing policies.  

At that point, it said, about 97% of the employees had already been vaccinated. Epic’s competitor, Cerner, announced its own vaccine mandate this week, saying all U.S. employees must have received their shots by December 8.  

“Although no vaccine prevents all infections, the COVID-19 vaccines have been proven safe and highly effective,” said officials from Cerner’s pandemic task force in a note to employees Friday, as reported by the Kansas City Star. “Vaccination remains the most effective way of reducing the incidence and severity of the virus.”  

The companies’ respective work-from-home policies at the companies are also markedly different: Epic has brought the majority of employees back to the office, while Cerner has offered a hybrid in-person/remote-work environment, with the expectation of employees returning to offices in early 2022. 

Kat Jercich is senior editor of Healthcare IT News.
Twitter: @kjercich
Email: kjercich@himss.org
Healthcare IT News is a HIMSS Media publication.

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