SILVER SPRING, MD - The American Nurses Association (ANA) hails the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Centers for Medicare and Medicaid’s (CMS) requirement for health care workers to be vaccinated against COVID-19. Through this decision, 76,000 hospitals, nursing homes and other health care facilities across the country that participate in Medicare and Medicaid programs are required to implement COVID-19 vaccine requirements for an estimated 10 million health care workers. ANA is pleased that the Supreme Court allowed this requirement to be implemented.
While the decision to uphold the CMS COVID-19 vaccine requirement is a win, ANA is disappointed that the Supreme Court blocked the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) emergency temporary standard for COVID-19 vaccination and testing for large businesses from taking effect. This action is inconsistent and misaligned with concerted national campaigns and efforts to get enough individuals and communities, including nurses, vaccinated against COVID-19 to reduce further infections, hospitalizations, and deaths. As the nation grapples with highly transmissible COVID-19 variants, mass vaccination is our strongest defense in relieving overwhelmed health care systems and exhausted nurses.
We continue to encourage all employers to take responsible actions to increase the number of employees who are vaccinated and to protect their workforce and customers. ANA urges health care employers to do everything in their power to provide ready and ongoing access to personal protective equipment (PPE) as well as COVID-19 testing and vaccines at the worksite. These prevention measures are critical to ensure that nurses and all members of the health care team have the highest level of protection against workplace transmission. Additionally, we call on state and federal policymakers and the private sector to aggressively pursue other strategies to bolster the health care system.
ANA continues to support mandated COVID-19 vaccinations for nurses and all health care professionals. To protect the health of the public, all individuals, nurses, and health care professionals, it is imperative that every eligible adult and child be immunized against vaccine-preventable diseases, such as COVID-19 and influenza.
# # #
The American Nurses Association (ANA) is the premier organization representing the interests of the nation's 4.3 million registered nurses. ANA advances the profession by fostering high standards of nursing practice, promoting a safe and ethical work environment, bolstering the health and wellness of nurses, and advocating on health care issues that affect nurses and the public. ANA is at the forefront of improving the quality of health care for all. For more information, visit www.nursingworld.org.
For high-resolution images of the ANA logo or photos of ANA leadership, please click here.