The Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA) commends the announcement by the Biden-Harris Administration to have healthcare personnel within all Medicare and Medicaid-certified facilities vaccinated against COVID-19 to protect them and their patients from the COVID-19 virus and the even more contagious Delta variant.
“Vaccines continue to be the most effective and scientifically proven way to protect patients, staff, and visitors in the healthcare setting,” said Mary Hayden, MD, President of the SHEA Board of Trustees.
SHEA recently published a consensus statement along with six other organizations representing over 30,000 medical professionals working in infectious diseases, infection prevention, pharmacy, pediatrics, and long-term care in support of requiring employees at hospitals and other healthcare facilities to be vaccinated against COVID-19. The statement recommends exemptions only for those with medical contraindications to all COVID-19 vaccines authorized for use in the United States, or other exemptions in compliance with state and local laws. The paper explains how organizations can implement and operationalize vaccination as a condition of employment, track vaccinations, manage exemptions to help healthcare facilities develop and put in place the requirement. The paper links to a toolkit that provides practical suggestions, considerations, and examples for how facilities might implement a COVID-19 vaccination as a condition of employment policy within the healthcare setting.
“SHEA supports efforts by the federal government to encourage a fully vaccinated healthcare workforce. Vaccination reduces the risk of transmission among healthcare personnel, patients, and communities. When we developed the Multi-society statement, we knew that now was the time to act collectively and make a difference,” said David Weber, MD, member of the SHEA Board of Trustees and lead author of the SHEA vaccination as a condition of employment statement.
The Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA) is a professional society representing more than 2,000 physicians and other healthcare professionals around the world who possess expertise and passion for healthcare epidemiology, infection prevention, and antimicrobial stewardship. The society’s work improves public health by establishing infection-prevention measures and supporting antibiotic stewardship among healthcare providers, hospitals, and health systems. This is accomplished by leading research studies, translating research into clinical practice, developing evidence-based policies, optimizing antibiotic stewardship, and advancing the field of healthcare epidemiology. SHEA and its members strive to improve patient outcomes and create a safer, healthier future for all. Visit SHEA online at shea-online.org, facebook.com/SHEApreventingHAIs and twitter.com/SHEA_Epi.
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