Last week, the governing board of the Washington State Hospital Association approved a resolution supporting vaccine requirements for hospitals and health care systems.
This was not a decision that we made lightly. Washington’s hospitals and health systems have seen firsthand the debilitating and deadly impact of COVID-19.
When the COVID-19 vaccines were first released, WSHA and our members strongly encouraged everyone who was eligible, including hospital and health system employees, to get vaccinated against COVID-19. Since then, clinical data has shown the COVID-19 vaccines to be extraordinarily safe and effective and our best tool to prevent spread of the disease. In Washington State, 4.4 million people have received the vaccine with minimal side effects, with 164 million vaccinated across the country.
In our hospitals, we are seeing that all or nearly all of seriously ill patients who have been hospitalized due to COVID-19, are unvaccinated. Having unvaccinated patients in health care facilities increases the chances of spreading the disease within the organizations. It is vital that we stop the spread of the virus within hospitals and health systems, and among coworkers and other caregivers.
As a result, we are urging Washington hospitals to require their employees to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. We understand that this is a controversial decision, but we still believe that it is the right thing to do. We are available and eager to help our hospitals across the state to implement such policies. (Washington State Hospital Association)