Groups whose members include 340B hospitals have thrown their support behind mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policies for hospital and health system personnel.
The Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) on July 16 urged its member institutions to require vaccinations for their employees. The American Hospital Association and America’s Essential Hospitals came out in favor of mandatory vaccination for hospital employees on July 21, and the Children’s Hospital Association (CHA) did so on July 23. ASHP (American Society of Health-System Pharmacists) yesterday was one of 57 medical groups signing a joint statement “call[ing] on all health care and long-term care employers to require their employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19.”
This morning, America’s Essential Hospitals, AHA, AAMC, Catholic Health Association of the United States, and Children’s Hospital Association issued a joint statement “strongly urging all health care personnel to get the COVID-19 vaccination.”
“We also support hospitals and health systems that implement mandatory vaccination policies or any other reasonable steps to achieving high levels of COVID-19 vaccination within their organizations, with the appropriate accommodations for medical or religious reasons. Local factors and circumstances, along with relevant local, state and federal laws and regulations, will shape each organization’s chosen strategy,” the five groups said.
Nationwide, as of the end of May, one in four hospital workers who have direct contact with patients had not received a single dose of COVID-19 vaccine, according to a WebMD and Medscape Medical News’s analysis of hospital data collected by the U.S. Health and Human Services Department (HHS).
Groups urging mandatory vaccinations for hospital workers cited the national upswing in reported COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths, low vaccination rates in many parts of the country, and the rise of the highly infectious delta variant of COVID-19.
These disturbing trends have “emphasized the critical need to continue to get individuals vaccinated and mitigate the spread of the virus,” AAMC President and CEO Dr. David J. Skorton said. “Vaccinating health care personnel at our member institutions saves lives.”
The National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC) has discussed vaccine mandates for health care employees internally but has not taken a position, a spokesperson said. We have asked the National Rural Health Association (NRHA) and hospital group 340B Health about their positions.