Mandating COVID-19 Vaccination: Protecting our Populations
AMCP recently signed on to a Joint Statement in Support of COVID-19 Vaccine Mandates for All Workers in Health and Long-Term Care. I encourage you to read the letter in its entirety. Here is just a section, but it demonstrates the urgent message from the signatories, which include the American Medical Association, American Nurses Association, American Public Health Association, and 74 others (at the time of this writing):
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 … Vaccination is the primary way to put the pandemic behind us and avoid the return of stringent public health measures.
Ezekiel Emanuel, co-director of the Healthcare Transformation Institute at the University of Pennsylvania, helped organize the joint statement and was interviewed in several news outlets about it.
“Our motivation is that we’re health care workers. We’re caring for patients. Patients come first. It’s our obligation to promote their health and well-being. And one of the ways we do that is by taking vaccines,” Emanuel said during the July 26, 2021, episode of PBS NewsHour.
The joint statement signatories represent all aspects of the health care sector — nurses, pharmacists, physicians, physician assistants, and many others. They recognize the importance of universal COVID-19 vaccination among health care workers. These vaccines help ensure the safety of patients, as well as their own families, colleagues, and communities.
AMCP Signs On
As an organization, AMCP’s mission is to help patients get the medications they need at a cost they can afford. The value proposition offered by vaccines and other disease prevention measures is undeniable; therefore, we support appropriate vaccination. That’s one of the many reasons we felt it was important to sign on to this joint statement.
Consider that the average cost to treat a hospitalized COVID-19 patient ranges from $51,000 to $78,000, according to Health Care Finance. Now consider that the CDC estimates that about 5.6 million Americans have been hospitalized for COVID-19 since February 2020. Should Americans pay a tab of almost $285 billion for hospitalizations, which, in the vast number of cases, can now be prevented through immunization?
Further, as health care professionals, we have a duty to model positive health behaviors as we encourage patients to make critical, lifesaving decisions. Vaccines ensure the safety of patients, long-term care residents, unvaccinated children, the elderly, and immunocompromised individuals, all of whom face a growing risk of infection as the Delta variant surges across the United States. Mandates put our duty into effect, providing us with ethical, legal, and effective policies with which to address the COVID-19 crisis and protect our communities.
The message in the joint statement is clear. Please help us amplify it throughout your own organizations and networks. Thank you for your dedication to managed care pharmacy.