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American Nurses Association Adds COVID-19 Vaccines to Longstanding Position on Immunization and Supports OSHA Emergency Standard Giving Nurses New Protections from COVID-19 | NEWS-Line for Nurses

American Nurses Association Adds COVID-19 Vaccines to Longstanding Position on Immunization and Supports OSHA Emergency Standard Giving Nurses New Protections from COVID-19


As COVID-19 pandemic continues to be a danger for nurses, the American Nurses Association (ANA) remains committed to advocating for more protections for nurses, in addition to updating its own policies and positions to account for present best practices and recommendations from the broader health care community.

As a result, ANA recently updated its longstanding position for all nurses and health care professionals to be immunized against vaccine-preventable diseases now includes the three COVID-19 vaccines being administered under the Food and Drug Administration’s Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) process. The ANA Board of Directors unanimously approved the position that all nurses should get vaccinated unless they have a medical issue that makes vaccination unadvisable. This position extends only to the three vaccines currently available under EUA and does not extend to any future COVID-19 vaccines that might become available under the EUA process.

ANA applauds nurses who are getting vaccinated against COVID-19 as nurses have a professional and ethical obligation to model the health maintenance, wellness behaviors prevention measures they prescribe to patients, families, and communities.

ANA backs the Biden administration’s extraordinary efforts to get the U.S. population fully vaccinated. ANA continues to encourage all individuals to be vaccinated against COVID-19 and follow the recommendations of public health officials as new cases of the highly contagious delta variant surge in many communities. Vaccinations are one of our greatest public health achievements and are critical to continue stemming the spread and resulting disease, disability and death related to COVID-19.

ANA also supports the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) that requires employers to better protect nurses from COVID-19 hazards in the work environment. Critically, the ETS requires that employers provide better protections for nurses by developing and implementing plans to identify and control COVID-19 hazards in the workplace. It also requires that nurses who care directly for patients with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 must be protected by approved respirators and empowers nurses to advocate for meaningful safety improvements during the duration of the emergency standard, as well as providing whistleblower protections for employees who raise safety concerns.

ANA is committed to protecting nurses and frontline health care workers. It will engage with OSHA on the implementation and enforcement of this ETS and continue to advocate for permanent protections from infectious agents in health care delivery, which remains a necessity.

Except for a few requirements, OSHA expects employers to comply with the ETS as of July 6, 2021, and nurses are able to comment on it through July 21, 2021. ANA encourages nurses and health care personnel to learn about the new requirements, and to understand how to report violations, by visiting OSHA’s website.

Source: American Nurses Association (ANA)

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