135M healthcare professionals around the world remain unvaccinated, says World Health Organization.
The American Nurses Association (ANA) has joined the International Council of Nurses (ICN), the American Hospital Association (AHA), and the global health community in calling for all nurses and healthcare professionals globally to be vaccinated against COVID-19.
About 135 million healthcare professionals around the world remain unvaccinated, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). Many are nurses on the frontlines of this relentless pandemic, providing care to communities in low- and middle-income countries that lack a steady and sustainable supply of COVID-19 vaccines.
"It is deeply concerning that at this point in the pandemic, many nurses abroad do not have access to the recommended dose regimen of COVID-19 vaccines," ANA president Ernest J. Grant, PhD, RN, FAAN, said in a press release. "ANA fully backs the CDC's recommendation to prioritize the vaccination of nurses and other frontline health care workers."
"Immediate action to broaden public health strategies that will increase the global supply and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines is critical," Grant continued. "This is key to protect the health of nurses, healthcare teams, patients, and communities."
ANA’s guiding principles for COVID-19 vaccines state that "It is critical to establish and sustain an infrastructure to support global equitable distribution of COVID-19 vaccines."
ANA supports President Joe Biden and his administration’s strategy to allocate resources to help increase the global production and sharing of COVID-19 vaccines.
All nurses should get vaccinated against COVID-19, unless a provider advises otherwise, according to the current recommendations of WHO for immunization.
Last month, the ANA board of directors, representing the interests of the 4.2 million registered nurses in the United States, unanimously approved adding to the association’s longstanding position on immunizations the three COVID-19 vaccines being administered under the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Emergency Use Authorization.
Ongoing clinical trials, research, and evidence demonstrate that authorized COVID-19 vaccines are stable and effective in preventing the spread of the virus and mitigating the impact of variants that account for new COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations daily.
The AHA took it a step further and not only is encouraging healthcare workers to get vaccinated, but announced Tuesday that it supports healthcare organizations implementing policies to make COVID-19 shots mandatory.
ICN estimates that more than 2,000 nurses across 59 countries have died from COVID-19. However, this number is likely much higher as tracking among health workers is inconsistent.
"When a nurse contracts COVID-19 or tragically dies from the virus, healthcare systems lose an invaluable healthcare professional to care for COVID-19 patients and all other patients battling various diseases and aliments. We also lose a colleague, friend, and loved one," Grant said. "Imagine risking your life everyday while watching the rest of the world enjoy re-openings of society and some sense of normalcy. We can and we must do better. Global mass vaccination of all healthcare professionals is a moral imperative."
ANA continues to strongly advocate for all nurses and healthcare professionals to have the highest level of protection, which includes access to COVID-19 vaccines.
“Imagine risking your life everyday while watching the rest of the world enjoy re-openings of society and some sense of normalcy. We can and we must do better.”
Ernest J. Grant, PhD, RN, FAAN, president of ANA
Carol Davis is the Nursing Editor at HealthLeaders, an HCPro brand.
The American Nurses Association (ANA) is calling for all nurses and healthcare professionals to be vaccinated against COVID-19.
More than 2,000 nurses across 50 countries are thought to have died from COVID-19, though inconsistent tracking probably puts that number much higher.
The AHA announced Tuesday that it supports making COVID-19 vaccines mandatory for healthcare workers.