American Hospital Association backs vaccine mandates

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The American Hospital Association released a statement July 21 saying it supports hospitals and health systems that adopt mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policies, with local factors and circumstances shaping whether and how organizations implement the policies. 

The association — which also strongly urged the vaccination of all healthcare workers for safety reasons — released its statement about a week after the Association of American Medical Colleges endorsed vaccine requirements for employees at medical schools and teaching hospitals. 

"The evidence is clear: COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective in reducing both the risk of becoming infected and spreading the virus to others," Rick Pollack, president and CEO of the American Hospital Association, said in a news release. "The AHA supports hospitals and health systems that choose, based on local factors, to mandate COVID-19 vaccines for their workforce. Doing so will help protect the health and well-being of healthcare personnel and the patients and communities they proudly serve."

For hospitals and health systems implementing vaccination mandates for employees, the American Hospital Association encouraged organizations to provide medical exemptions; follow federal requirements and guidelines; continue providing education to staff about vaccines; and offer scheduling flexibility and/or time off to ensure employees may get inoculated and have time to recover from possible side effects.

Read the American Hospital Association's full statement here.

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