AHA supports mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policies at healthcare organization

July 23, 2021

The American Hospital Association (AHA) has adopted a policy statement supporting the idea of mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policies at hospitals and health systems.

“The evidence is clear: COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective in reducing both the risk of becoming infected and spreading the virus to others,” said Rick Pollack, AHA’s President and CEO. “The AHA supports hospitals and health systems that choose, based on local factors, to mandate COVID-19 vaccines for their workforce. Doing so will help protect the health and well-being of healthcare personnel and the patients and communities they proudly serve.”

The AHA said organizations that adopt mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policies also should:

• Provide exemptions for medical reasons and accommodations consistent with Federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission guidelines (e.g., a sincerely held religious belief, practice or observance).

• Follow relevant Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) infection control guidelines, Occupational Safety and Health Administration requirements, and other federal and state regulations regarding use of personal protective equipment and other infection control practices for unvaccinated staff receiving an exemption or accommodation. For example, unvaccinated personnel may be required to wear a mask at all times even if CDC guidelines and OSHA requirements were to relax mask requirements for vaccinated personnel.

• Offer scheduling flexibility and/or time off to ensure personnel have time to obtain the vaccine.

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