STATEMENT OF THE NEW YORK STATE NURSES ASSOCIATION ON MANDATORY VACCINATION
July 21 – The New York State Nurses Association (NYSNA) today released an updated position statement on vaccines to counter COVID-19. (See link above.) Drawing upon their experience on the frontlines battling the virus, NYSNA, representing more than 42,000 registered nurses across New York state, restated support for the recommendation for vaccination as vital, but underscored that it is not the only piece of the puzzle to end COVID-19.
“The New York State Nurses Association supports the recommendation that everyone be vaccinated against the SARS-CoV2, the corona virus that causes COVID-19, in a just, fair and equitable manner. Vaccines play a vital role in public health and a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine will, at a minimum, decrease the number of people experiencing the severe effects of the virus and save countless lives,” said NYSNA President Nancy Hagans, RN. “Vaccination is an important piece of the puzzle in ending the COVID-19 epidemic, but it is not the only piece. Based on our frontline experience battling the pandemic for more than a year, NYSNA nurses believe we must focus on education and vaccination in underserved and under-vaccinated communities, limiting everyone’s exposure by wearing well-fitting masks, maintaining social distancing, and improving ventilation in all workplaces and indoor spaces.”
A recently completed survey of NYSNA nurses excerpted in the statement found several ongoing health and safety issues at New York healthcare facilities.
“Healthcare employers must put the lessons learned fighting this pandemic from the frontlines into practice to decrease the risk of repeated COVID-19 outbreaks, said NYSNA Executive Director Pat Kane, RN. “We object to employers pushing mandatory employee vaccination while simultaneously lobbying to relax PPE standards, frivolously contesting COVID-19 workers compensation claims and OSHA citations, and actively cutting corners on health and safety protocols. The way to build back trust and incentivize further vaccination among healthcare workers is to finally meet our broader health and safety demands, not to threaten us with job loss.”
In the updated position statement, NYSNA stated its intention to exercise its right to demand impact bargaining from employers who seek to impose mandatory vaccination policies based on the principles set forth in the statement covering safety of all healthcare workers and the communities served.
The New York State Nurses Association (NYSNA) represents more than 42,000 members in New York State. We are New York’s largest union and professional association for registered nurses. For more information, go to www.nysna.org.