CHA News Article

ANA Recommends That Nurses Should be Immunized Against Vaccine-Preventable Diseases

The American Nurses Association (ANA) on Aug. 20 announced it is calling for all individuals, including registered nurses (RNs), to be immunized against vaccine-preventable diseases, with the only exemptions being for medical or religious reasons. The ANA represents 3.4 million RNs. ANA’s new position on immunization aligns with recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), a CDC panel of medical and public health experts that advises vaccine use. ANA’s re-examination of its position was prompted partly by outbreaks of measles cases this year that affected unvaccinated adults and children. Hospitals are reminded that California law prohibits employers from requiring its employees to become vaccinated.

ANA’s position statement says, “RNs have an ethical responsibility to model the same health maintenance and health promotion measures that they teach and research, which includes immunization against vaccine-preventable diseases.”

August is National Immunization Awareness Month. The CDC and the National Public Health Information Coalition (NPHIC) have developed a communication toolkit to help communicate the importance of vaccination throughout the lifespan. The toolkit may be found at www.cdc.gov/vaccines/events/niam.html.

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