Fifty-seven of the United States’ leading medical organisations, representing millions of doctors and nurses, have called for the mandatory vaccination of all healthcare workers.
“We call for all health care and long-term care employers to require their employees to be vaccinated against covid-19,” the groups said in a statement on Monday. “The health and safety of US workers, families, communities, and the nation depends on it.”
The joint statement comes as the US faces yet another surge of coronavirus infections, this time fueled by the highly contagious Delta variant. Since 1 July, the number of daily cases has quadrupled, according to data compiled by The New York Times, and is now up to about 52,000 new cases per day.
Meanwhile, although highly effective vaccines are available across the country, many Americans refuse to take them – including healthcare workers. According to WebMD, about a quarter of all US hospital workers had not been vaccinated by the end of May.
In their statement, the 57 groups said the only solution was to make the vaccine mandatory.
“Unfortunately, many health care and long-term care personnel remain unvaccinated,” the medical groups wrote. “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.”
The letter was signed by the American Medical Association, the American Nursing Association, the American Pharmacists Association, and dozens of other groups.
After a year and a half of the pandemic, which in the US began with strict lockdowns and overwhelmed hospitals, the healthcare groups stressed that they did not want to go backwards.
“Vaccination is the primary way to put the pandemic behind us and avoid the return of stringent public health measures,” the groups wrote.
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