WSNA statement on COVID vaccine

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The Washington State Nurses Associ­a­tion (WSNA) is committed to the health and safety of our nurses as well as other front­line caregivers, our families, patients, and commu­ni­ties. Our nurses on the front­lines of COVID-19 have witnessed the devas­tating impact of this pandemic. We believe that health­care workers should be prior­i­tized to receive the vacci­na­tion and strongly recom­mend that regis­tered nurses be vacci­nated against COVID-19 as a key compo­nent of a compre­hen­sive preven­tion effort. 

The balance of safety and efficacy and the percep­tion of personal risk versus overall benefit are at the core of accept­ability of immuniza­tion practices. The known and poten­tial benefits of a COVID-19 vaccine must outweigh the known and poten­tial risks. While WSNA supports the COVID-19 vacci­na­tion for nurses as front­line caregivers, we recog­nize that without a well-estab­lished safety profile, the risk benefit analysis could be such that nurses choose not to be vaccinated. 

WSNA strongly supports and urges volun­tary efforts that aim for high vacci­na­tion rates. We are committed to educating our members and the public through a variety of mecha­nisms. Nurses should not be retal­i­ated or discrim­i­nated against if they do not choose to be vacci­nated and that COVID-19 vacci­na­tion should not be a condi­tion of employment.

WSNA supports and expects enforce­ment of existing federal and state regula­tions including Governor issued procla­ma­tions and all public health direc­tives. All employers must meet the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Occupa­tional Health and Safety Admin­is­tra­tion (OSHA), Washington State Depart­ment of Labor & Indus­tries and Washington State Depart­ment of Health require­ments for personal protec­tive equip­ment (PPE), testing, safety and preven­tion proto­cols in combat­ting COVID-19. 

Approved by the WSNA Board of Directors

December 4, 2020