07 29 21
COVID -19 – Vaccination Policies pursued by Govt at all three Levels- Federal, State and City and Private Businesses
APA Psych News Update [email protected]
To: Velandy Manohar, MD
Erin Connors, 202-609-7113
Joint Statement in Support of COVID-19 Vaccine Mandates for All Workers in Health Care
Organizations Listed and Bibliography provided.
WASHINGTON, D.C., July 26, 2021 – Due to the recent COVID-19 surge and the availability of safe and effective vaccines, our health care organizations and societies advocate that all health care employers require their workers to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. This is the logical fulfillment of the ethical commitment of all health care workers to put patients as well as residents of long-term care facilities first and take all steps necessary to ensure their health and well-being.
Because of highly contagious variants, including the Delta variant, and significant numbers of unvaccinated people, COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths are once again rising throughout the United States.1 Vaccination is the primary way to put the pandemic behind us and avoid the return of stringent public health measures.
Unfortunately, many health care personnel remain unvaccinated. As we move towards full FDA approval of the currently available vaccines, all health care workers should get vaccinated for their own health, and to protect their colleagues, families, residents of long-term care facilities and patients. This is especially necessary to protect unvaccinated children, those who are vulnerable, and the immunocompromised. Indeed, this is why many healthcare settings already require vaccinations for influenza, hepatitis B, and pertussis.
We call for all health care employers to require their employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19.
We stand with the growing number of experts and institutions that support the requirement for universal vaccination of health workers.2,3 While we recognize some workers cannot be vaccinated because of identified medical reasons and should be exempted from a mandate, they constitute a small minority of all workers. Employers should consider any applicable state laws on a case-by-case basis.
Existing COVID-19 vaccine mandates have proven effective.4,5 Simultaneously, we recognize the historical mistrust of health care institutions, including among many in our own health care workforce. We must continue to address workers’ concerns, engage with marginalized populations, and work with trusted messengers to improve vaccine acceptance.
As the health care community leads the way in requiring vaccines for our employees, we hope all other employers across the country will follow our lead and implement effective policies to encourage vaccination. The health and safety of U.S. workers, families, communities, and the nation depends on it.
Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy (AMCP)
American Academy of Ambulatory Care Nursing (AAACN)
American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP)
American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP)
American Academy of Nursing (AAN)
American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO)
American Academy of PAs (AAPA)
American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP)
American Association of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (AAAAI)
American Association of Clinical Endocrinology (AACE)
American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP)
American Association of Neuroscience Nurses (AANN)
American College of Clinical Pharmacy (ACCP)
American College of Physicians (ACP)
American College of Preventive Medicine (ACPM)
American College of Surgeons (ACS)
American Epilepsy Society (AES)
American Medical Association (AMA)
American Nursing Association (ANA)
American Pharmacists Association (APhA)
American Psychiatric Association (APA)
American Public Health Association (APHA)
American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP)
American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO)
American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP)
American Society of Hematology (ASH)
American Society of Nephrology (ASN)
American Thoracic Society (ATS)
Association for Clinical Oncology (ASCO)
Association of Academic Health Centers (AAHC)
Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC)
Association of Rehabilitation Nurses (ARN)
Council of Medical Specialty Societies (CMSS)
HIV Medicine Association
Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA)
National Association of Indian Nurses of America (NAINA)
National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners (NAPNAP)
National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN)
National Hispanic Medical Association (NHMA)
National League for Nursing (NLN)
National Medical Association (NMA)
National Pharmaceutical Association (NPhA)
Nurses Who Vaccinate (NWV)
Organization for Associate Degree Nursing (OADN)
Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society (PIDS)
Philippine Nurses Association of America, Inc (PNAA)
Society of Gynecologic Oncology (SGO)
Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA)
Society of Hospital Medicine (SHM)
Society of Interventional Radiology (SIR)
Texas Nurses Association (TNA)
The John A. Hartford Foundation
Transcultural Nursing Society (TCNS)
Virgin Islands State Nurses Association (VISNA)
Wound, Ostomy, and Continence Nurses Society (WOCN)
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Covid Data Tracker Weekly Review. July 16, 2021. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/covid-data/covidview/index.html [Accessed 22 July 2021].
- Weber, D., Al-Tawfiq, J., Babcock, H., Bryant, K., Drees, M., Elshaboury, R., et al. (2021). Multisociety Statement on COVID-19 Vaccination as a Condition of Employment for Healthcare Personnel. Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology, 1-46. doi:10.1017/ice.2021.322
- American Hospital Association. AHA Policy Statement on Mandatory COVID-19 Vaccination of Health Care Personnel. July 21, 2021. https://www.aha.org/public-comments/2021-07-21-aha-policy-statement-mandatory-covid-19-vaccination-health-care
- Bacon J. ‘Condition of employment’: Hospitals in DC, across the nation follow Houston Methodist in requiring vaccination for workers. USA Today. Available from: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/health/2021/06/10/dc-hospitals-others-follow-houston-methodist-requiring-vaccination/7633481002/ [Accessed 22 July 2021].
- Paulin E. More Nursing Homes Are Requiring Staff COVID-19 Vaccinations. AARP. Available from: https://www.aarp.org/caregiving/health/info-2021/nursing-homes-covid-vaccine-mandate.html [Accessed 22 July 2021].
From: List [email protected] 07 29 21, 2:50PM
Updates for Connecticut Physicians, APRNs, PAs, and RNs:
The CDC issued a Health Advisory to notify public health practitioners and clinicians about the urgent need to increase COVID-19 vaccination coverage. Increasing vaccination coverage is especially urgent in areas where current coverage is low. Unvaccinated persons account for the majority of new COVID-19 infections, hospitalizations, and deaths. Currently circulating SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern, especially the highly infectious Delta variant (B.1.617.2), are accelerating the spread of infection.
Unvaccinated and partially vaccinated people should practice all recommended prevention measures until fully vaccinated. In areas with substantial and high transmission, CDC recommends that fully vaccinated individuals wear a mask in public indoor settings to help prevent the spread of Delta and help protect others. [This advice will be helpful in all the States we are operating in now and hope to be in next few months irrespective of the numbers. It is best to be prudent and “help prevent the spread of Delta and help protect others.” VM]
Biden vaccine mandate for federal workers could set precedent for private employers to follow
Published Thu, Jul 29 20214:53 PM EDT
President Joe Biden announced Thursday that his administration will require all civilian federal workers provide their Covid-19 vaccination status or face strict testing measures, social distancing and masking requirements and limited travel.
The new rule comes as Covid cases are rising again in all 50 states due to the highly contagious delta variant and vaccination rates have leveled off. In the U.S., 69.3% of adults have received at least one dose of the vaccine, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
For months, business leaders have debated whether employers should require workers get the vaccine to prevent the spread of the virus. So far, many companies have left the decision up to individuals, but public health and employment experts say the new Biden administration policy could lead more private-sector employers to implement their own vaccination rules.
“Every employer, be it public or private, that mandates vaccination for employees paves the way for other employers considering doing the same thing,” says Sharon Perley Masling, a partner and director of workplace culture consulting at the employment law firm Morgan Lewis.
Federal mandate could pave the way for private-sector policies
First, the federal decision provides a sweeping precedent that employers can point to as a reason why they’re adopting a similar policy for their own staff right now. Businesses will also have a point of reference for how to handle pushback and employees who may threaten legal action against the requirement. And finally, leaders can learn from the way the federal policy is rolled out and enforced.
Working through operational challenges will take time and could be especially difficult for small businesses, Lee says. Employers will have to figure out how to verify their employees’ vaccination status, securely store this information and keep an eye out for fraudulent documentation. In many cases, employees who don’t get vaccinated will be subject to regular Covid-19 testing, which takes time, money and people to oversee that screenings are done routinely and enforced fairly.
Weighing the risks
In terms of what’s legally allowed, “employers have the right to set the terms and conditions of employment,” says Perley Masling. Employers can require employees be vaccinated against Covid-19 or submit to mandatory Covid screenings.
With that said, employers creating a vaccine requirement must “entertain requests for reasonable accommodations as required by law,” such as for workers who refuse for religious or medical reasons, including pregnancy. “Each request should be analyzed individually, and employers have right to ask for supporting documentation.”
Some employers, already dealing with a labor crunch in certain industries where there are more open jobs than people to fill them, may worry that a vaccine mandate could impact hiring or lead to turnover. But Lee says businesses should be more concerned about the consequences of not supporting public health measures.
From a business standpoint, “it can be very costly in many ways to have an outbreak of Covid-19,” he says. “It could subsequently require you to implement more draconian measures, like shutting down the workplace, or you might lose business if you’re known as the operation that had a Covid-19 outbreak.”
On the flip side, Perley Masling expects many employees may respond positively to an employer vaccination mandate, because they’ll feel safer and more supported going into a physical workplace.
Messaging will be key
Dr. Perry Halkitis, dean of the Rutgers School of Public Health, says community messaging will be key to getting employees to feel comfortable with a new vaccine mandate. Business leaders should make sure that the group making decisions about the policy, its enforcement and its announcement is representative of the workforce as a whole, with regard to job level and function as well as gender, race, ethnicity, age and so on “to make sure all voices are represented at the table.”
People are much more willing to listen to and trust friends, colleagues and people they know rather than someone they’ve never interacted with, Lee adds.
Employers must also be fully transparent about why they’re enforcing the health mandate. Again, leaders can highlight how an outbreak can cause the business to suffer, which could lead to a drop in revenue and employee layoffs.
Companies can also bring in outside health experts to discuss, from a scientific standpoint, the risks of remaining unvaccinated and contracting the virus. These experts should also address misinformation and disinformation about the virus head-on through open dialogue, where beliefs can be freely expressed and addressed in a calm and respectful manner.
“Keep in mind there’s an inherent distrust of the health-care system and government among different groups of people, and there’s justification of that,” Lee says. As organizations share information, such as through articles or by hosting panels with experts, “that has to be accounted for.”
He recommends business leaders consider where their employees are located and what the Covid situation and vaccination response is like there.[This is key – R numbers are important as are fully Vaccinated rates and trending numbers of new cases as well doubling times. VM]
“Talk to local community leaders and [engage in] shared decision-making so employees feel you’re making an effort to reach out to them,” Lee says.
More companies mandate vaccines as delta variant spreads
As the coronavirus pandemic has tightened its grip on the U.S. yet again this summer, more employers are getting onboard with a workplace vaccine mandate.
This week, the Department of Veterans Affairs became the first major federal agency to require health-care workers receive the Covid-19 vaccine, and California became the first state to require state employees and some health-care workers to do so. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio introduced similar guidance for city employees and health-care workers, and urged private-sector businesses follow suit. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo later announced state employees would be required to show proof of vaccination or face weekly testing.
In the private sector, companies including Morgan Stanley, Saks, Delta Air Lines and The Washington Post have all announced their own vaccine requirements for employees in recent weeks. On Wednesday, Google announced it was delaying its return-to-office plans until October and that employees must be vaccinated to go back in-person.
The Biden administration’s vaccine requirement follows the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updating its guidance that fully vaccinated people should resume wearing a mask in public indoor settings again in places with “substantial and high” Covid-19 transmission rates.