“Health care organizations rarely agree on anything, but this is one thing where they are speaking with one voice and unanimity,” said Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, an oncologist and bioethicist at the University of Pennsylvania, who organized the joint statement. “I think that attests to the wide recognition that this is the right thing to do for this country.”
Although many health care workers have been eligible for vaccination since December, when the first shots were authorized, a significant number remain unvaccinated.
In New York, for instance, roughly 1 in 4 hospital workers have not yet been vaccinated, according to state data. Nationwide, just 58.7 percent of nursing home employees have been fully vaccinated, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Some health care workers have pushed back against vaccine requirements. A small group of employees sued Houston Methodist Hospital over its mandate. The suit was dismissed last month, and more than 150 workers at the hospital were fired or resigned over their refusal to be vaccinated.
Some employers have been reluctant to require the vaccines, which currently have an emergency use authorization, until they receive full approval from the Food and Drug Administration. That approval is expected, but could be months away.