As the Delta variant of COVID-19 spreads, infecting more people more quickly, more hospitals and healthcare systems are expressing concern over the health of their employees and patients, leading them to consider vaccine mandates for workers, which could affect those in the HTM field who work in healthcare facilities.. 

This week, medical groups including the AMA are calling on healthcare employers to make COVID-19 vaccination mandatory for those who work for them, and the Department of Veterans Affairs has issued a vaccination mandate for its healthcare workers.

According to the New York Times:

A group of nearly 60 major medical organizations, including the American Medical Association and the American Nurses Association, called on Monday for mandatory vaccination of health care workers. As the highly contagious Delta variant drives a new surge of coronavirus cases, vaccination is an ethical obligation for health care workers, the groups said in a joint statement.

In recent weeks, more hospitals and health care systems have announced that they would begin requiring all employees to be vaccinated against the coronavirus. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has said that the mandates are legal, and many hospitals already require employees to get flu shots.

Another New York Times article details the Department of Veterans Affairs’ mandate for healthcare workers, saying “Employees who provide direct patient care have eight weeks to get inoculated against the coronavirus or face penalties including possible removal.” Denis McDonough, the secretary of veterans affairs, says the mandate applies to workers who are “the most patient-facing.”

It remains to be seen exactly how this trend might affect those in the HTM profession.