needle in vaccine vial

Long-term care and other healthcare employees should be required to be vaccinated against COVID-19 as a condition of employment, according to seven national organizations.

AMDA – The Society for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine, the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America, the Association for Professionals in Epidemiology and Infection Control, the HIV Medicine Association, the Infectious Diseases Society of America, the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society and the Society of Infectious Diseases Pharmacists on Tuesday issued a consensus statement recommending that, with a few exemptions, COVID-19 vaccination should be a condition for employment at nursing homes, hospitals and other healthcare facilities.

A panel consisting of representatives from the seven organizations conducted an eight-week review of evidence on the three vaccines authorized for use in the United States, vaccination rates and employment law before developing the statement, which applies to anyone working in a facility, including volunteers, students and contractors. 

“Studies have demonstrated that the COVID-19 vaccines authorized for use in the U.S. also protect against variants, and are particularly effective against severe disease, hospitalization, and death,” according to the collective’s press release.

The group encourages providers, Before mandating vaccinations, to consider ways to engage stakeholders and improve vaccination rates through education. 

“Unfortunately, many healthcare workers have still not taken the COVID-19 vaccination, which puts them and their patients at significant risk,” AMDA Executive Director Christopher E. Laxton said. “After other measures to improve vaccine uptake have not been effective, requiring vaccinations for all employees is the best way to ensure that everyone eligible will receive them in a timely manner. AMDA is proud to be part of this important effort.”

Vaccine mandates have been more prevalent in senior living than in skilled nursing. Among senior living providers requiring vaccination are Trinity Health: Aegis Living, ALG Senior, American House Senior Living Communities, The Arbor Co., Atria Senior Living, Civitas Senior Living, Enlivant, Five Star Senior Living, Juniper Communities, Harbor Retirement Associates (for new employees), IntegraCare, Integral Senior Living, Jewish Home Family, Masonicare, Presbyterian Senior Living, Retirement Center Management, Silverado, Sunrise Senior Living, Trilogy Health Services and Trinity Health. Trinity’s mandate goes further than some and includes not only staff members but also contractors and others conducting business in facilities