The American Hospital Association is urging its members and all healthcare professionals to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. The association released a policy statement Wednesday imploring providers working in hospitals and in communities to get vaccinated in order to protect patients from contracting COVID-19 and slow the spread of the virus.

The evidence is clear: COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective in reducing both the risk of becoming infected and spreading the virus to others,” Rick Pollack, AHA’s president and CEO said. “The AHA supports hospitals and health systems that choose, based on local factors, to mandate COVID-19 vaccines for their workforce. Doing so will help protect the health and well-being of health care personnel and the patients and communities they proudly serve.”

The AHA also said it supports hospitals and health systems that adopt mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policies for health care personnel, with local factors and circumstances influencing how policies are implemented. 

As one example of a new vaccination policy, on Wednesday, New York Mayor Bill DeBlasio mandated that all unvaccinated workers at city-run hospitals be tested weekly for the virus.

AHA’s appeal comes as the number of COVID-19 cases and deaths are spiking across the U.S., due to the highly contagious Delta variant.  Most of those who have been hospitalized or have died from the virus in recent days had not been vaccinated.