Posted on July 26, 2021 in: Professional Practice
Medical groups, including the American Pharmacists Association and the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, representing millions of doctors, nurses, pharmacists and other health workers on Monday called for mandatory vaccinations of all U.S. health personnel against the coronavirus, framing the move as a moral imperative as new infections mount sharply.
“We call for all health care and long-term care employers to require their employees to be vaccinated against covid-19,” the American Medical Association, the American Nurses Association and 55 other groups wrote in a joint statement shared with The Washington Post. “The health and safety of U.S. workers, families, communities, and the nation depends on it.”
The statement — issued by many groups urging a mandate for the first time — represents an increasingly tough stance by the medical and public health establishment amid the sluggish pace of national vaccinations. It comes as new cases rip through the nation, driven by the hyper-transmissible delta variant. Confirmed coronavirus infections have nearly quadrupled in July, from about 13,000 cases per day at the start of the month to more than 50,000 now, according to The Post’s tracking. Hospital leaders in states such as Alabama, Florida and Missouri have implored holdouts to get vaccinated, citing data that the shots prevent hospitalizations and even death.
But many workers in the health field remain unvaccinated, despite having priority access to coronavirus vaccines, which first became available in December. More than 38 percent of nursing home staff were not fully vaccinated as of July 11, despite caring for patients at elevated risk of the coronavirus, according to data collected by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and analyzed by LeadingAge, which represents nonprofit nursing homes and other providers of elder care.
An analysis by WebMD and Medscape Medical News estimated that 25 percent of hospital workers who had contact with patients had not been vaccinated by the end of May.