Major Healthcare Organizations Call for COVID-19 Vaccine Mandates

The statement includes over 50 societies and organizations, representing millions of workers.

Over the weekend, a number of major healthcare organizations, including the American Medical Association, the American Nurses Association, and the American Academy of Pediatrics, released a joint statement calling for all health care employers to require their employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

The societies and organizations together represent millions of workers throughout health and long-term care.

The main reasoning behind the joint statement is the safety of healthcare workers, their patients and the residents of long-term care facilities. The aim is also to make the healthcare sector a leader in COVID-19 vaccinations.

In recent weeks, cases, hospitalizations, and deaths have been rising across the United States, largely due to the surge of the Delta variant.

“Health care workers have an ethical duty to put patients’ health and well-being first and getting vaccinated for COVID-19 is integral to that duty,” said Ezekiel Emanuel, vice provost for global initiatives at the University of Pennsylvania, who organized the statement said. “Employer vaccine mandates are effective and lifesaving, and they are especially appropriate in health care and long-term care settings. No patient should have to worry that they could become infected by one of their care providers, and no provider should put their patient at risk.”

While healthcare workers have a higher vaccination rate than the general population, it is still not enough. By the end of May, 1 in 4 hospital workers were not vaccinated, leaving patients vulnerable.

If implemented, the mandate would cover over 17 million healthcare workers.

“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,” the authors wrote. “We must continue to address workers’ concerns, engage with marginalized populations, and work with trusted messengers to improve vaccine acceptance.”