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ANA Position Statement - Approved 7/21/15

This position statement supersedes the Position Statement on Mercury in Vaccines, June 21, 2006.

Historically, ANA has strongly supported immunizations to protect the public from highly communicable and deadly diseases such as measles, mumps, diphtheria, pertussis, and influenza (ANA, 2014; ANA, 2006), and has supported mandatory vaccination policies for registered nurses and health care workers under certain circumstances. However, in light of a recent and significant measles outbreak in the United States, ANA has reviewed current and past position statements for clarity and intent, and current best practices and recommendations from the broader health care community. Based on that review, it was determined that a revised position statement is needed to clarify ANA’s position and incorporate current best practices.

To protect the health of the public, all individuals should be immunized against vaccine-preventable diseases according to the best and most current evidence outlined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP). All health care personnel (HCP), including registered nurses (RNs), should be vaccinated according to current recommendations for immunization of HCP by the CDC and Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC).

ANA supports exemptions from immunization only for the following reasons:

  1. Medical contraindications
  2. Religious beliefs

All requests for exemption from vaccination should be accompanied by documentation from the appropriate authority to support the request. Individuals who are exempted from vaccination may be required to adopt measures or practices in the workplace to reduce the chance of disease transmission. Employers should ensure that reasonable accommodations are made in all such circumstances.