Dozens of medical organizations, including the Texas Nurses Association (TNA) and National League for Nursing (NLN), are demanding mandatory vaccines for healthcare workers, outlining their plea in a joint statement.
Citing the surge of the Delta variant and the availably of what they deem “safe aim effective vaccines,” the organizations said healthcare and long-term care employers should “require their workers to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.”
“This 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,” the joint letter states, lamenting the fact that “many” healthcare workers remain unvaccinated.
“This is especially necessary to protect those who are vulnerable, including unvaccinated children and the immunocompromised. Indeed, this is why many health care and long-term care organizations already require vaccinations for influenza, hepatitis B, and pertussis,” they said.
“We call for all health care and long-term care employers to require their employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19,” they continued, formally making their demand.
While the organizations recognized that some workers cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons and should thereby “be exempted from a mandate,” they contend they represent a “small minority of all workers.” Therefore, organizations said, employers should mandate the vaccine.
“Existing COVID-19 vaccine mandates have proven effective,” they continued. “Simultaneously, we recognize the historical mistrust of health care institutions, including among many in our own health care workforce.”
“We must continue to address workers’ concerns, engage with marginalized populations, and work with trusted messengers to improve vaccine acceptance,” they continued, failing to identify how they plan to address the concerns — which includes the general side effects, safety, and long-term effects of the vaccines — of the unvaccinated.
They also did not identify who they would consider “trusted messengers.” One of the most prominent public health officials is Dr. Anthony Fauci, and a majority of Americans believe political considerations have influenced his statements on the Chinese virus. Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) last week sent a criminal referral on Fauci to the Department of Justice after the White House chief medical adviser denied that the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has never funded gain-of-function research in the Wuhan Institute of Virology.
“There’s a possibility we are suffering from his poor judgment,” the Kentucky senator said following his contentious exchange with Fauci last week.
“As the health care community leads the way in requiring vaccines for our employees, we hope all other employers across the country will follow our lead and implement effective policies to encourage vaccination. The health and safety of U.S. workers, families, communities, and the nation depends on it,” they concluded.
Signers included the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP), American Academy of Nursing (AAN), American Pharmacists Association (APhA), American Society of Hematology (ASH), Council of Medical Specialty Societies (CMSS), National Medical Association (NMA), Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society (PIDS), Transcultural Nursing Society (TCNS), and dozens more.
A Convention of States Action/Trafalgar Group survey released this week revealed a majority opposing vaccine mandates. Nearly three-quarters said vaccines should be a “personal choice,” whereas 21.8 percent said they should, in fact, be “mandatory.”
The letter coincides with RWJBarnabas Health, New Jersey’s largest healthcare system, firing six individuals described as “senior employees” because they did not get a coronavirus vaccine.
Meanwhile, state lawmakers in Texas, both Democrats, are promoting the idea of vaccine mandates on social media.