July 29, 2021
Washington State Medical Association Announces Support for Vaccination Requirements for Health Care Workers
(SEATTLE, WA, July 29, 2021) - The Washington State Medical Association (WSMA) today issued the following statement in support of vaccination requirements for health care workers:
The physician community believes that the health of our patients and communities is paramount. To ensure we are not a contributor to the spread of COVID-19 or its variants, the Washington State Medical Association supports mandating that Washington health care workers receive the COVID-19 vaccine as soon as possible with two exceptions-an adverse medical condition that prevents safe vaccination or a conflicting religious belief.
"Our patients need to feel safe when they visit their physician, go to the hospital or ambulatory surgery center for surgery, or seek respite in a skilled nursing, assisted living, or long-term care facility," said Nathan Schlicher, MD, JD, president of the WSMA. "We can no longer hope and urge. Today we need to act.
"We know the vaccines are safe and highly effective at preventing severe illness and death from COVID-19. Increased vaccinations among health care personnel will reduce the spread of COVID-19 and will protect our health care workforce.
"A vaccine mandate in the health care setting is not unique. In order to protect patients from highly contagious viruses, many health care and long-term care organizations already require vaccinations for influenza, hepatitis B, and pertussis. This tracks with WSMA's long-standing policy in support of vaccine mandates for physicians and other health care workers.
"On behalf of the nearly 12,000 physicians and physician assistants who make up the WSMA, we encourage everyone who is able to get the vaccine as soon as possible, and to speak with your physician if you have questions about it or need more information."
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About the WSMA
The Washington State Medical Association represents more than 11,000 physicians, physician assistants, resident physicians, and medical students in Washington state. The WSMA has advocated on behalf of the house of medicine for more than 125 years. Our vision is to make Washington state the best place to practice medicine and receive care.