The American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN) has released a statement calling for all healthcare and long-term-care employers to require every member of the healthcare team – employees and credentialed and contracted providers – to be vaccinated against COVID-19.
In the statement, the organization calls for mandatory vaccination, except when medically contraindicated, as a necessary response to the grave threat of COVID-19 and the massive burden it creates for acute and critical care units and local communities.
“AACN has previously held that vaccination decisions are best left up to the individual,” the statement says. “In this unique case, we believe mandated vaccination is the best path to support the physical safety of patients, nurses, their colleagues and their families and a means to prevent further trauma and moral injury imposed by the pandemic on our healthcare workforce.”
The call for mandatory vaccination aligns with the decisions of more than 80 major healthcare organizations, including the American Nurses Association and the American Medical Association, which have recently called for similar action. “To be effective, the COVID-19 vaccine must be received by a large percentage of the population. Our healthcare community is exhausted. We support efforts that will help bring this pandemic to a close and allow our healthcare professionals time to recover and return to normal practice,” says AACN President Beth Wathen.
Throughout the pandemic, AACN has provided clinical resources, advocacy, educational materials, insights and innovations to support nurses caring for patients with COVID-19. The organization will continue to share information from reliable sources as knowledge about COVID-19 and related vaccines evolves.