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Infectious Disease Organizations Call for Compulsory COVID-19 Vaccination Among All Health Care Personnel

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Seven professional organizations for infectious diseases, epidemiology and long-term care professionals have issued a consensus statement recommending that COVID-19 vaccination be a condition of employment for all health care personnel.

The recommendation also extends to non-employees who are active in a health care institution, such as students or volunteers, but supports medical contraindication-based exemptions for COVID-19 authorized vaccines and other exemptions as defined by federal or state law. , according to statement of companies.

The groups that signed the declaration are:

  • American Society for Health Epidemiology (SHEA)
  • AMDA Association for Post-Acute Medicine and Long-Term Care
  • Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology
  • American Infectious Diseases Society
  • HIV Medical Association
  • Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society
  • Society of Infectious Disease Pharmacists

The COVID-19 vaccines in use in the United States have been shown to be safe and effective, said in a joint statement David J. Weber, a member of the SHEA board of trustees and lead author of the consensus statement. By requiring vaccination as a condition of employment, we increase vaccination levels for health care personnel, improve the protection of our patients, and help achieve community protection. As healthcare personnel, they were committed to these goals.

Professional organizations noted that routine vaccination levels among providers who did not establish vaccination policies were low prior to COVID-19. The flu vaccination rate, for example, ranged from 94.4% to 69.6% among health care employers who did and did not seek shots as a condition of employment.

The authors of the statements acknowledged that there is still more to be learned about vaccines, particularly about the duration of their protection and their potential impact on maternal or fetal health.

RELATED: United National Nurses call on CDC to reinstate camouflage policies behind COVID-19 case

In the last point, the groups said that pregnant and breastfeeding health care workers should be allowed to receive the vaccine because of their increased sensitivity to COVID-19, but that health care institutions may wish to allow them to become pregnant [healthcare personnel] delay vaccination until after birth.

Among organizations for which a mandatory vaccination policy is not currently possible, efforts are still needed to encourage vaccination among staff. These include senior management approval, vaccine education, paid leave for vaccination appointments, and cure.

However, if coverage should not exceed approximately 90% over a reasonable period of one to three months, these organizations should go ahead and formalize the COVID-19 vaccine requirement among their employees.

The groups said their recommendation was developed during a review of eight-week trials conducted by the multi-organizing panel of experts in infectious disease prevention, pharmacy, employment law and human resources.

In addition to their recommendation, the consensus statement includes a division of clinical, legal, privacy, and safety issues for stakeholders weighing in on the decision to adopt a mandatory COVID-19 vaccine policy in their organization.

RELATED: 153 Houston Methodist employees resign or get fired for refusing COVID-19 vaccination

While some health care providers they said they will be awaiting full FDA approval of COVID-19 vaccines, a growing number of hospitals and systems have gone ahead with a mandatory vaccination discovered in recent weeks. These have included the Houston Methodist, Mercy, Henry Ford Health System, SSM Health and, as of Friday, Trinity Health.

Managers from each of these providers echoed the position of professional organizations that COVID-19 vaccines are largely safe and necessary to ensure patient safety.

“We think it’s important to take every step available to stop the spread and protect those who use it around, especially the most vulnerable in our communities, who cannot be vaccinated, including young children and more than 10 million people who are immune deficient, ”Trinity Health President and CEO Mike Slubowski said in a statement last week announcing the new policy for its 117,000 employees.

“Over the past year, Trinity Health has counted our colleagues and patients in the very high number of deaths from coronaviruses. Now that we have a proven way to prevent deaths from COVID-19, we are not hesitating to do our part,” he said. ai.

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