Public Statement on Mandatory COVID-19 Vaccines

Hancock Health believes in the safety and effectiveness of the COVID-19 vaccine. The vaccine clinic at Hancock Regional Hospital has provided more than 45,000 shots and helped nearly 23,000 individuals achieve immunity from the disease. Nearly 70% of Hancock Health associates have been fully vaccinated as have nearly 40,000 residents of Hancock County. Individuals who have been vaccinated at Hancock Health have experienced remarkably few, and very mild, side effects.

COVID-19 is a real disease that has infected more than 8,500 residents of Hancock County and killed 144. The clinical staff members of Hancock Health have cared for hundreds of patients with COVID-19 and watched many of them die horrific deaths. Most heartbreaking are the individuals who have been admitted to the hospital, struggling to breathe, in just the last few months. All of these patients had the opportunity to get the vaccine prior to contracting COVID-19, but chose not to, and some of them did not survive.

While we believe in the safety and effectiveness of the vaccine, we have not yet mandated it for our associates. Currently we have vaccinations that are required for highly transmissible diseases that require immunization or proof of immunity as a condition of employment (chickenpox, measles, rubella, mumps etc.). Should we add the COVID-19 vaccine to this list, we will accept religious and medical waivers for the COVID-19 vaccine just as we do for the influenza vaccination. We do not, nor have we ever, required vaccinations for our patients as a condition of treatment in our hospital.

We too live in Hancock County, and our desire is for it to be the very best place in Indiana to live, work, play and pray. At Hancock Health, it is a blessing to work in a place where we love people for a living…