Organizations call for healthcare employee COVID-19 vaccination requirements

A statement calls for vaccination requirements for employees of hospitals, nursing homes, and other healthcare facilities.

As vaccine hesitancy continues to stymy efforts to end the COVID-19 pandemic, seven healthcare organizations are calling for facility employees to have vaccination requirements.

According to a news release, AMDA – The Society for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine, the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA), the Association for Professionals in Epidemiology and Infection Control (APIC), the HIV Medicine Association (HIVMA), the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA), the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society (PIDS), and the Society of Infectious Diseases Pharmacists (SIDP) joined in a statement to call for hospitals, nursing homes, and other healthcare facilities to require their employees be vaccinated against COVID-19. The organizations also express support for vaccinations being required for non-employees such as students, contract workers, and volunteers functioning in a facility.

The statement includes information on what to consider when developing a policy to require COVID-19 vaccination for employees and ways to engage stakeholders to improve vaccination rates before implementing the policy, the release says.

The organizations note that more than 33 million American have contracted the disease while more than 600,000 have died, 32 percent of those deaths among PALTC population. The COVID-19 virus develops mutations as it replicates, but while the vaccines prevent replication these mutations can only emerge among the unvaccinated population. The Delta variant is now the dominant strain in the U.S. and represents more than half of all cases, it is more transmissible and may also cause more severe disease, according to the release.

“Unfortunately, many healthcare workers have still not taken the COVID-19 vaccination, which puts them and their patients at significant risk,” AMDA Executive Director Christopher E. Laxton says in the release. “After other measures to improve vaccine uptake have not been effective, requiring vaccinations for all employees is the best way to ensure that everyone eligible will receive them in a timely manner. AMDA is proud to be part of this important effort.”

The full statement can be found here.