ANA pushing for universal immunizations

All healthcare workers and nurses should be immunized against vaccine-preventable diseases, the American Nurses Association advised in late August.

In the past, ANA has supported mandatory vaccination policies for registered nurses and other healthcare workers to protect patients from highly communicable diseases such as pertussis and influenza. The association revised its immunization recommendations in light of a “recent and significant” measles outbreak in the United States. 

“ANA's new position aligns registered nurses with the best current evidence on immunization safety and preventing diseases such as measles,” ANA President Pamela Cipriano, Ph.D., RN, wrote in a release. 

ANA noted healthcare workers can request exemption from immunizations for religious beliefs or medical contraindication. Exemption requests should be accompanied with documentation from the “appropriate authority.”

If a worker is exempted from vaccination, the healthcare facility may be required to adopt measures or practices  such as using facemasks to “reduce the chance of disease transmission” to patients or others, the ANA said.