Doctor, nurse groups call for COVID-19 vaccine mandates for health workers

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Employers Can Require Vaccines , for Returning Office Workers.According to the CDC, 50% of American adults are now vaccinated against COVID-19.But many people are still hesitant to get the shot, .leaving many employers trying to figure out the best way to ensure workers' health and safety.A recent guidance issued by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission says employers can legally require employees to be vaccinated.However, workers can claim medical or religious exemptions and still keep their jobs.Many employers such as Target, Kroger, Petco and more are relying on incentives instead of mandates in an attempt to avoid any potential lawsuits.Many employers such as Target, Kroger, Petco and more are relying on incentives instead of mandates in an attempt to avoid any potential lawsuits.Many employers such as Target, Kroger, Petco and more are relying on incentives instead of mandates in an attempt to avoid any potential lawsuits.States such as Ohio and California have also rolled out incentive programs with cash prizes.States such as Ohio and California have also rolled out incentive programs with cash prizes.According to NPR, at least 85 bills have been introduced by state lawmakers to limit an employer's ability to force workers to get vaccinated or terminate them if they refuse.In April, Montana passed such a bill and Gov. Greg Gianforte issued an executive order banning "vaccine passports.".[Receiving a shot] is entirely voluntary and will not be mandated by the State of Montana. We are committed to protecting individual liberty and personal privacy, Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte, via statement

More than 50 health care organizations issued a joint statement in support of mandatory vaccination

Today more than 50 health care organizations issued a joint statement in support of COVID-19 vaccine mandates for all health care and long-term care workers.

“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.”

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The joint statement noted the delta variant and number of unvaccinated people as reasons hospitalizations and deaths from COVID-19 are rising.

“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,” the statement reads.

A February report by the health nonprofit Surgo Ventures found 15% of the approximately 1,300 health care workers offered the vaccine said they had turned it down, Business Insider reported. A ProPublica investigation found 40% of workers in nursing homes have not been vaccinated.

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“As the largest group of health care professionals, nurses are critical to all facets of COVID-19 response efforts and must strive to remain physically and psychologically safe to function optimally to care for themselves, their patients and their communities,” American Nursing Association president Ernest J. Grant said in a statement. “Nurses must get vaccinated.” ANA is among the statement’s signatories.

The statement continues: “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.”

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In addition to ANA, these groups joined the statement:

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 Nursing 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 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)

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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 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)

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