“It is critical that all people in the health care workforce get vaccinated against COVID-19 for the safety of our patients and our colleagues,” said Susan R. Bailey, M.D., immediate past president of the American Medical Association. “With more than 300 million doses administered in the United States and nearly 4 billion doses administered worldwide, we know the vaccines are safe and highly effective at preventing severe illness and death from COVID-19. Increased vaccinations among health care personnel will not only reduce the spread of COVID-19 but also reduce the harmful toll this virus is taking within the health care workforce and those we are striving to serve.”
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 States1. 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 workers2, 3. 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 effective4, 5. 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 Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (AAAAI)
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 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)
1 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Covid Data Tracker Weekly Review. July 16, 2021. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/covid-data/covidview/index.html [Accessed 22 July 2021].
2 Weber, D., Al-Tawfiq, J., Babcock, H., Bryant, K., Drees, M., Elshaboury, R., et al. (2021). Multisociety Statement on COVID-19 Vaccination as a Condition of Employment for Healthcare Personnel. Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology, 1-46. doi:10.1017/ice.2021.322
3 American Hospital Association. AHA Policy Statement on Mandatory COVID-19 Vaccination of Health Care Personnel. July 21, 2021. https://www.aha.org/public-comments/2021-07-21-aha-policy-statement-mandatory-covid-19-vaccination-health-care
4 Bacon J. ‘Condition of employment’: Hospitals in DC, across the nation follow Houston Methodist in requiring vaccination for workers. USA Today. Available from: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/health/2021/06/10/dc-hospitals-others-follow-houston-methodist-requiring-vaccination/7633481002/ [Accessed 22 July 2021].
5 Paulin E. More Nursing Homes Are Requiring Staff COVID-19 Vaccinations. AARP. Available from: https://www.aarp.org/caregiving/health/info-2021/nursing-homes-covid-vaccine-mandate.html [Accessed 22 July 2021].
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