Getting vaccinated should be a no-brainer; unfortunately, we seem to be surrounded by people with no brains. Harsh? Maybe. But when medical personnel who work directly with or are in close proximity to immunosuppressed people, children and the elderly won't get vaccinated, we think justified. The open letter below, from 57 groups representing millions of health-care workers, calls for mandatory COVID vaccinations of all U.S. health personnel as new infections mount sharply.
Due to the recent COVID-19 surge and the availability of safe and effective vaccines, our health care organizations and societies advocate that all health care and long-term care employers require their workers to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. This is the logical fulfillment of the ethical commitment of all health care workers to put patients as well as residents of long-term care facilities first and take all steps necessary to ensure their health and well-being.
Because of highly contagious variants, including the Delta variant, and significant numbers of unvaccinated people, COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths are once again rising throughout the United States. Vaccination is the primary way to put the pandemic behind us and avoid the return of stringent public health measures.
Unfortunately, many health care and long-term care personnel remain unvaccinated. As we move towards full FDA approval of the currently available vaccines, all health care workers should get vaccinated for their own health, and to protect their colleagues, families, residents of long-term care facilities and patients. This is especially necessary to protect those who are vulnerable, including unvaccinated children and the immunocompromised. Indeed, this is why many health care and long-term care organizations already require vaccinations for influenza, hepatitis B, and pertussis.
We call for all health care and long-term care employers to require their employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19.
We stand with the growing number of experts and institutions that support the requirement for universal vaccination of health workers. While we recognize some workers cannot be vaccinated because of identified medical reasons and should be exempted from a mandate, they constitute a small minority of all workers. Employers should consider any applicable state laws on a case-by-case basis.
Existing COVID-19 vaccine mandates have proven effective. Simultaneously, we recognize the historical mistrust of health care institutions, including among many in our own health care workforce. We must continue to address workers' concerns, engage with marginalized populations, and work with trusted messengers to improve vaccine acceptance.
As the health care community leads the way in requiring vaccines for our employees, we hope all other employers across the country will follow our lead and implement effective policies to encourage vaccination. The health and safety of U.S. workers, families, communities, and the nation depends on it.
Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy (AMCP)
American Academy of Ambulatory Care Nursing (AAACN)
American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP)
American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP)
American Academy of Nursing (AAN)
American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO)
American Academy of PAs (AAPA)
American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP)
American Association of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (AAAAI)
American Association of Clinical Endocrinology (AACE)
American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP)
American Association of Neuroscience Nurses (AANN)
American College of Clinical Pharmacy (ACCP)
American College of Physicians (ACP)
American College of Preventive Medicine (ACPM)
American College of Surgeons (ACS)
American Epilepsy Society (AES)
American Medical Association (AMA)
American Nurses Association (ANA)
American Pharmacists Association (APhA)
American Psychiatric Association (APA)
American Public Health Association (APHA)
American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP)
American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO)
American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP)
American Society of Hematology (ASH)
American Society of Nephrology (ASN)
American Thoracic Society (ATS)
Association for Clinical Oncology (ASCO)
Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC)
Association of Academic Health Centers (AAHC)
Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) Association of Rehabilitation Nurses (ARN)
Council of Medical Specialty Societies (CMSS)
HIV Medicine Association
Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA)
National Association of Indian Nurses of America (NAINA)
National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners (NAPNAP)
National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN)
National Hispanic Medical Association (NHMA)
National League for Nursing (NLN)
National Medical Association (NMA)
National Pharmaceutical Association (NPhA)
Nurses Who Vaccinate (NWV)
Organization for Associate Degree Nursing (OADN)
Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society (PIDS)
Philippine Nurses Association of America, Inc (PNAA)
Society of Gynecologic Oncology (SGO)
Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA)
Society of Hospital Medicine (SHM)
Society of Infectious Diseases Pharmacists (SIDP)
Society of Interventional Radiology (SIR)
Texas Nurses Association (TNA)
The John A. Hartford Foundation
Transcultural Nursing Society (TCNS)
Virgin Islands State Nurses Association (VISNA)
Wound, Ostomy, and Continence Nurses Society (WOCN)