Health groups push for vaccine mandate for healthcare workers

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A group of healthcare organizations on Tuesday has requested hospital and medical centers to require their employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19, citing that the move proved to be effective in the influenza fight as well as in other infectious illnesses.

“COVID-19 vaccination should be a condition of employment for all healthcare personnel,” part of the group’s statement read as they cautioned that “a sufficient vaccination rate is unlikely to be achieved” when a vaccine mandate is not put in place.

The call came after the sparked debate regarding healthcare as some groups compel new vaccine requirements and the suggestion of infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci that to fight the spread of the virus, “there should be more mandates” locally.

The organization’s statement came with guidelines and bore the signature of the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America, the Infectious Diseases Society of America along five other medical bodies.

Federal officials, however, resisted placing national mandates on healthcare employees. Several healthcare organizations also said that they do not intend to make vaccination compulsory for then workers.

Healthcare organizations that impose COVID-19 vaccination requirements have been sued by some of their nurses and personnel. Their medical staff argued that the mandatory vaccination is not backed by legal bases, or is unethical.

One lawsuit regarding this matter, however, was rejected by a federal judge last month.

The guidelines that were presented on Tuesday were prepared by a group of about 30 experts in the past couple of months. It included recommendations in engaging with employees, moving around the regulations, as well as on enforcing the vaccine mandate, The Washington Post reported.

“We think [it] will provide support for organizations that were thinking about making the vaccine a condition of employment for their health-care workers,” guidelines co-writer Hilary M. Babcock said, who is also an infectious-disease expert at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.