Mary Madison, RN, RAC-CT, CDP
Clinical Consultant – Briggs Healthcare
On June 30, 2021, the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC) announced its support for hospitals and health systems that are requiring all employees and clinical team members to be vaccinated against COVID-19 as a condition of employment.
“APIC applauds healthcare organizations for taking this bold patient safety step,” said APIC 2021 President Ann Marie Pettis, BSN, RN, CIC, FAPIC. “Low healthcare staff vaccination rates put vulnerable populations at risk of contracting COVID-19. As healthcare professionals, we have an ethical responsibility to protect those individuals entrusted to our care.”
A growing number of healthcare facilities and health systems are adopting COVID-19 vaccination as a condition of employment. Vaccinations have brought about a sharp decline in COVID-19 cases, but vaccinations have stalled in recent weeks, likely short of the necessary threshold to adequately halt the spread of the virus. COVID-19 so far has claimed the lives of more than 600,000 Americans. Mandatory healthcare worker vaccination policies for influenza and other infectious diseases already exist and have proven effective.
“Because voluntary vaccination policies are not always effective in achieving acceptable vaccination rates, many healthcare organizations opt to require them as a condition of employment. Those that do see dramatic increases in their vaccination rates,” said Pettis. “Vaccination is the single most effective strategy we have to stop the spread of this virus — including the more dangerous variants — and to prevent needless suffering, hospitalization, and death.”
APIC urges everyone who is eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. All of the COVID-19 vaccines available in the U.S. under the FDA emergency use authorization are safe, effective, and readily available.The Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC) is creating a safer world through the prevention of infection. APIC’s nearly 16,000 members develop and direct infection prevention and control programs that save lives and improve the bottom line for healthcare facilities. APIC advances its mission through patient safety, education, implementation science, competencies and certification, advocacy, and data standardization. Visit us at apic.org.