On July 26, 2021, the Society of Interventional Radiology joined the American Medical Association and 57 other medical specialty societies and allied health groups to advocate that all health care and long-term care employers require that their workers receive the COVID-19 vaccine. The coalition contends universal vaccination is necessary for the sake of the health care and long-term care workers' health and to protect those workers' colleagues and their families, as well as the patients the workers treat or the long-term care facility residents they serve.
This comes at a time when highly contagious variants, including the Delta variant, are spreading in significant numbers among unvaccinated people. Data published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows a spike in COVID-related cases and deaths throughout the United States. The CDC also reports a significant increase in the month of July in hospital admissions of patients with confirmed cases of COVID-19.
In a separate statement accompanying the coalition position, Susan R. Bailey, M.D., immediate past president of the American Medical Association said, “With more than 300 million doses administered in the United States and nearly 4 billion doses administered worldwide, we know the vaccines are safe and highly effective at preventing severe illness and death from COVID-19. Increased vaccinations among health care personnel will not only reduce the spread of COVID-19 but also reduce the harmful toll this virus is taking within the health care workforce and those we are striving to serve.”
The coalition's joint statement follows the adoption of a similar statement by the American Hospital Association Board of Directors on July 21, 2021, to strongly urge the vaccination of all health care personnel.
The organizations signing on to the coalition statement acknowledge that some workers cannot be vaccinated because of identified medical reasons and should be exempted from a mandate, but they believe that those circumstances apply to only a small minority of all workers. Health care and long-term care employers, they say, should consider any applicable state laws on a case-by-case basis.