Dozens more groups call for mandatory COVID-19 vaccination for health workers
Dozens more societies and organizations representing medical personnel have endorsed mandatory COVID-19 vaccination for health workers, according to a joint statement.
More than 50 groups, including the AMA, American Academy of Pediatrics and American College of Physicians (ACP), signed a letter saying that requiring COVID-19 vaccination “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.”
“Getting vaccinated for COVID-19 is integral to that duty,” Ezekiel Emanuel, MD, PhD, vice provost for global initiatives at the University of Pennsylvania, said a press release issued by the ACP. “Employer vaccine mandates are effective and lifesaving, and they are especially appropriate in health care and long-term care settings.”
Several groups that signed the letter had already called for COVID-19 vaccination to be a “condition of employment” for health workers, including the Infectious Diseases Society of America and the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America.
Many hospital systems have already mandated COVID-19 vaccination for employees, and that trend continued after the release of the new letter. Notably, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs announced Monday that it would require COVID-19 vaccination for medical employees who work in Veterans Health Administration facilities, citing the medical organizations’ endorsement of such mandates.
According to the ACP, as of the end of May, nearly a quarter of hospital workers had not been vaccinated. If implemented, the vaccine mandate would cover approximately 17 million health care workers, it said.
ACP president George M. Abraham, MD, MPH, FACP, said in the release that vaccine mandates will help protect people “as the number of cases, hospitalizations and deaths continue to rise due to the COVID-19 delta variant, especially among unvaccinated persons.”
“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,” Emanuel said.