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Published on Monday, July 26, 2021

APhA Urges COVID-19 Vaccine Mandates for All Health Workers

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The American Pharmacists Association (APhA) today joined more than 50 other health care organizations to urge all health care employers to require their employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19. The endorsement makes the health care sector a leader in COVID-19 vaccination just as cases, hospitalizations, and deaths are once again rising throughout the United States.

“Employers have a fundamental responsibility to take all reasonable measures to ensure the safety and well-being of their employees and the people they serve,” said APhA President Sandra Leal, PharmD, MPH, FAPhA, CDCES. “Due to the nature of the times we live in, this must include requiring their employees be vaccinated, to protect themselves and others from the COVID-19 virus.”

These societies and organizations represent millions of workers throughout health and long-term care – from doctors and nurses to pharmacists and physician assistants, from public health workers and epidemiologists to long-term care, home care, and hospice workers.

The joint statement and full list of signatories:

Joint Statement in Support of COVID-19 Vaccine Mandates for All Workers in Health and Long-Term Care

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. 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.

Because of highly contagious variants, including the Delta variant, and significant numbers of unvaccinated people, COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths are once again rising throughout the United States. 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. As we move towards full FDA 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. 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. 

We call for all health care and long-term care employers to require their employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

We stand with the growing number of experts and institutions that support the requirement for universal vaccination of health workers. While we recognize some workers cannot be vaccinated because of identified medical reasons and should be exempted from a mandate, they constitute a small minority of all workers. Employers should consider any applicable state laws on a case-by-case basis. 

Existing COVID-19 vaccine mandates have proven effective. 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.

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 ensure vaccination.  The health and safety of U.S. workers, families, communities, and the nation depends on it.

Signatories (Listed Alphabetically)

Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy

American Academy of Ambulatory Care Nursing

American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry

American Academy of Family Physicians

American Academy of Nursing

American Academy of Ophthalmology

American Academy of PAs

American Academy of Pediatrics

American Association of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology

American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy

American Association of Clinical Endocrinology

American Association of Neuroscience Nurses

American College of Clinical Pharmacy

American College of Physicians

American College of Preventive Medicine

American College of Surgeons

American Epilepsy Society

American Medical Association

American Nursing Association

American Pharmacists Association

American Psychiatric Association

American Public Health Association

American Society for Clinical Pathology

American Society for Hematology

American Society for Radiation Oncology

American Society of Health-System Pharmacists

American Society of Nephrology

American Thoracic Society

Association for Clinical Oncology

Association of American Medical Colleges

Association of Rehabilitation Nurses

Council of Medical Specialty Societies

HIV Medicine Association

Infectious Diseases Society of America

LeadingAge

National Association for Home Care & Hospice

National Association of Indian Nurses of America

National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners

National Council of State Boards of Nursing

National Hispanic Medical Association

National League for Nursing

National Medical Association

National Pharmaceutical Association

Nurses Who Vaccinate

Organization for Associate Degree Nursing

Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society

Philippine Nurses Association of America, Inc

Society of Gynecologic Oncology

Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America

Society of Hospital Medicine

Society of Interventional Radiology

Texas Nurses Association

The John A. Hartford Foundation

Transcultural Nursing Society

Virgin Islands State Nurses Association

Wound, Ostomy, and Continence Nurses Society


About the American Pharmacists Association

The American Pharmacists Association is the only organization advancing the entire pharmacy profession. Our expert staff, and strong volunteer leadership, including many experienced pharmacists, allow us to deliver vital leadership to help pharmacists, pharmaceutical scientists, student pharmacists and pharmacy technicians find success and satisfaction in their work, while advocating for changes that benefit them, their patients and their communities. For more information, please visit www.pharmacist.com.

 

CONTACT: Frank Fortin

202.223.7189; ffortin@aphanet.org

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