Organizations say COVID-19 vaccines should be mandatory for healthcare employees

July 14, 2021

Hospitals and other healthcare facilities should require employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19, says a consensus statement by the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA) and six other organizations representing medical professionals working in infectious diseases, infection prevention, pharmacy, pediatrics, and long-term care.

The paper specifies an exemption for those with medical contraindications and some others circumstances in compliance with federal and state laws.

“By requiring vaccination as a condition of employment we raise levels of vaccination for healthcare personnel, improve protection of our patients, and aid in reaching community protection. As healthcare personnel, we’re committed to these goals,” said David J. Weber, a member of the SHEA Board of Trustees and lead author of the statement.

SHEA convened a multi-organizational panel of experts in infectious disease prevention, law, and human resources, with representatives from The Society for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine (AMDA), the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC), the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA), the HIV Medicine Association (HIVMA), the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society (PIDS), and the Society of Infectious Diseases Pharmacists (SIDP). The panel conducted an eight-week review of evidence on the three vaccines authorized for use in the United States, vaccination rates, and employment law to develop the statement.

For flu vaccination, when healthcare employers instituted policies of influenza vaccination as a condition of employment, compliance rose to 94.4% compared to 69.6% in organizations without a requirement.

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