By Benjy Renton, Sameer Nair-Desai, and Ashish K. Jha
Hospitals maintain high infection prevention and control standards to keep patients safe in their most vulnerable moments. In a pandemic which has already cost too many lives and created too many hardships, hospitals must uphold this standard and ensure that health systems are the safest spaces possible. An essential part of this role is mandating Covid-19 vaccines for all employees.
Health care is the only business that, as a matter of course, is full of immunocompromised people for whom vaccinations often fail to provide adequate protection. Hospitals also treat many children under 12 years old, who at this point are not approved to be vaccinated. These and other medically vulnerable groups need everyone who can get vaccinated to do so, to ensure hospitals are safe for both patients and staff.
Hospital workers have easy access to vaccines, with shots available on demand at hospital employee health centers. Many hospital workers are already vaccinated; but some are not. Many healthcare systems have required employees to have a set of vaccinations, especially for respiratory infections such as influenza, and Covid-19 should be no different. Leading public health experts, clinicians, and organizations (including the American Hospital Association and American College of Emergency Physicians, and the American Association of Medical Colleges) all agree on the importance of vaccine mandates for hospital staff.
In an effort to ensure that patients are kept safe in the hospital and that healthcare workers are also protected, we have started a Hospital Vaccination Tracker. Now, we would like your help building it out!
Do the hospitals near you require staff vaccination or not? Send us the link to the latest policy using this simple Google form, and join us in ensuring that patients are kept safe in hospitals across the country.