(HealthDay News) — All health care workers should be required to be vaccinated against COVID-19, dozens of major US medical groups said in a joint statement released Monday.
“Due to the recent COVID-19 surge and the availability of safe and effective vaccines, our health care organizations and societies advocate that all health care and long-term care employers require their workers to receive the COVID-19 vaccine,” the statement said. “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 groups include the American Medical Association, American Academy of Pediatrics, American Academy of Family Physicians, American College of Surgeons, American Academy of Nursing, American Pharmacists Association, and many more. They pointed out that COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths are once again rising nationwide due to significant numbers of unvaccinated people and the rapid spread of the highly contagious delta variant.
“Vaccination is the primary way to put the pandemic behind us and avoid the return of stringent public health measures. Unfortunately, many health care and long-term care personnel remain unvaccinated,” the statement added. “As we move towards full US Food and Drug Administration approval of the currently available vaccines, all health care workers should get vaccinated for their own health, and to protect their colleagues, families, residents of long-term care facilities, and patients.”
Mandatory vaccination of health care workers is especially crucial to protect vulnerable people, including unvaccinated children and those with weakened immune systems, the groups said.