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US Medical Groups Demand Vaccine Mandates to Avoid More Lockdowns

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More than 50 major U.S. medical organizations signed a letter urging health care providers nationwide to mandate coronavirus vaccinations for all personnel.

Hospitals and other care providers must mandate vaccination among employees due to the recent virus surge and prevalence of contagious variants, according to the public letter signed by the American Medical Association and American College of Physicians among others. Requiring medical workers to receive the vaccine could avoid future lockdowns that harm the economy, the groups said.

“Vaccination is the primary way to put the pandemic behind us and avoid the return of stringent public health measures,” the groups stated in the letter.

“Unfortunately, many health care and long-term care personnel remain unvaccinated,” it continued. “As we move towards full FDA approval of the currently available vaccines, all health care workers should get vaccinated for their own health, and to protect their colleagues, families, residents of long-term care facilities and patients.”

The groups called upon “all health care and long-term care employers” to issue vaccine mandates. They added that existing mandates have proven successful, citing policies in several regions across the U.S. forcing health care professionals to get vaccinated.

The health of the entire nation depends on the health care system leading the way on mandates, the letter said.

“As the health care community leads the way in requiring vaccines for our employees, we hope all other employers across the country will follow our lead and implement effective policies to encourage vaccination,” the groups wrote.

Hospital systems in Washington, D.C., Houston, Texas, and Pennsylvania have all instituted mandates affecting thousands of workers, USA Today reported. Aegis Living, a major long-term care provider that operates 33 nursing homes across multiple states, has also required its 4,700 employees to get vaccinated, according to the AARP.

While the U.S. vaccination rate neared more than 3 million doses per day in April, it has since plummeted to about 530,000 per day, data compiled by The New York Times showed. The U.S. has administered 341.8 million coronavirus vaccinations and nearly 70% of adults have received at least one dose, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported.

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