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Vaccine mandates in health care

Several states across the nation are enforcing mandates this week requiring health care workers to get vaccinated against COVID-19. And the consequences could be a shortage of health care workers as those who resist are fired, or suspended, or quit rather than get the vaccination.

It is difficult to imagine that health care workers, who are trained in the science of health and healing arts, would be so opposed to vaccinations. The vast majority are already vaccinated but a significant number are choosing not to. If a hospital or nursing home loses 5% of its staff that’s bound to cause staffing problems and affect health care.

We agree that people should have the right to make their own health care decisions, in general. But we also agree that health care facilities have a duty to their patients to provide the safest care possible.

Those who have chosen health care as a profession, as a vocation, should be willing to consider the needs of their patients. They have no doubt been making sacrifices for their patients all along. A vaccination should not be that much of a sacrifice. Health care workers should have access to all the information they need to be reassured about the safety and efficacy of the vaccines available.

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