As pushback continues against requiring coronavirus vaccines on cruise ships, in the NFL, and on college campuses, there's a new lobby for mandatory vaccination. The Washington Post and CNN report that 50-plus medical groups representing millions of health care professionals released a statement Monday calling for health care and long-term care employers to require their doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and other workers to get the COVID vaccine. The statement—signed by the American Medical Association, American Nurses Association, and American College of Surgeons, among others—notes that, due to the delta variant and "significant numbers" of people who still haven't gone for shots, hospitalizations and deaths are once again on the rise, necessitating their advocacy for a vaccine mandate among their own. They make an exception for the "small minority" of workers who have valid medical excuses.
"This is the logical fulfillment of the ethical commitment of all health care workers to put patients as well as residents of long-term care facilities first and take all steps necessary to ensure their health and well-being," reads the statement. It adds that the step is "especially necessary to protect those who are vulnerable, including unvaccinated children and the immunocompromised," and that such a mandate is already required for health care workers regarding influenza, pertussis, and hepatitis B vaccines. The move comes less than two weeks after a half-dozen medical groups made a similar plea, and as an increasing number of hospitals nationwide start to implement such vaccine mandates, per the New York Times. Still, some medical centers have balked, fearing lawsuits and citing the fact that the vaccines available here still haven't received full FDA approval. (Read more coronavirus vaccine stories.)