APIC, ANA to employers: Vaccines should be required for healthcare staff

All vaccines recommended by the CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices should be required for healthcare personnel, a coalition of 17 infection prevention and patient safety organizations said in an Oct. 6 letter sent to healthcare employers, as well as state and local government leaders. 

The coalition was led by the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology, and signed on by 16 other groups, including the American Nurses Association and the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America. 

"We believe all ACIP-recommended vaccines should be required for healthcare personnel providing services in any healthcare setting," the groups said. "This includes adherence to the most current ACIP COVID-19 vaccination recommendations. As required by federal regulations, vaccine exemptions should be provided for religious objections and medical contraindications." 

Vaccines recommended by the ACIP include those for influenza; COVID-19; RSV; and measles, mumps and rubella, among others. The full list of vaccine-specific recommendations can be found here

The groups' letter stated healthcare professionals have an "ethical responsibility" to protect patients from communicable diseases, and it comes as a number of states have introduced legislation to limit healthcare employers' ability to require vaccines as a condition of employment. At least 18 states require employers to have some level of exemptions in place related to COVID-19 vaccination. 

The groups indicated concern that some bills introduced in different states could extend beyond COVID-19 shots and prevent healthcare employers from requiring their staff to be vaccinated against other diseases including measles and varicella. 


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