One of the oldest and largest Native-run health organizations in the country has threatened to terminate employees if they decline to get the experimental COVID-19 shots.
Southeast Alaska Regional Health Consortium (SEARHC) issued a warning to employees stating that mandatory COVID shots are now required for all workers, students, volunteers, contractors and external providers. There are very limited exceptions for pregnant or breastfeeding mothers, those with specific documented health risks and people with documented and approved religious objections. The policy took effect May 24.
The company mandate is the latest in a string of Alaska-based entities that have coerced employees with termination if they refuse the experimental COVID injection. Earlier this month the tribally owned Norton Sound Health Corporation puts 700 employees on notice that they are required to submit to a COVID shot as a condition of employment. Similarly, employees of the Bering Straits Native Corporation, including those who work for its many subsidiary companies across Alaska, must get a COVID injection by Aug. 1.
The SEARHC policy requires all employees to offer proof of vaccination, which will become part of their employee health records. Contractors, volunteers and students must present similar documentation.
ALASKA WATCHMAN DIRECT TO YOUR INBOX
“Employees choosing not to be vaccinated or who have not received an approved exception form by the designated date will be considered as ‘voluntarily separated’ from employment with SEARHC,” the company notice warns. “Any person covered by this policy who fails to comply with the vaccination requirement or the exception process will be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment.”
Those seeking an approved exemption will have their case reviewed by an inhouse team that includes the medical director and chief medical officer of SEARHC.
A non-profit health consortium, SEARHC provides health services to residents across Southeast Alaska. Established in 1975 under the Indian Self-Determination Act, SEARHC runs Ethel Lund Medical Center and Sitka’s Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital as well as nearly 60 clinics throughout the region. It is governed by a 15-member board of directors.
While a growing number of businesses are now coercing employees into taking COVID injections, they may be on thin legal ice since all COVID vaccines are still unapproved by the FDA and only authorized for Emergency Use Authorization. EUA products are by definition experimental and therefore people have a right to decline them, according to federal law. Lawsuits are already underway challenging mandatory vaccines for COVID. No court has ever upheld a mandate for an EUA vaccine.
- Contact SEARHC President and CEO Charles Clement at (907)463-4060 or firstname.lastname@example.org
- Contact the SEARHC corporate office 907.463.4000