NHPCO Issues Statement on COVID-19 Vaccinations
To: NHPCO Membership
From: NHPCO Leadership Team
Date: July 29, 2021
NHPCO Supports Vaccinations for Member Organizations and Ongoing Educational Efforts
We continue to face a public health crisis unprecedented in our lifetimes. Sixteen months after the national Public Health Emergency brought on by coronavirus (COVID-19) was declared, it remains in place having been extended on July 19, 2021. This is a clear reflection of the ongoing severity of the pandemic. Infection numbers are rising once again in several states across the country with the greatest severity seen in states with low vaccination levels. The delta variant now accounts for the overwhelming percentage of hospitalizations and deaths in the U.S. and public health officials are concerned that other variants might further expand the pandemic.
The evidence demonstrating the safety and efficacy of the three vaccines that have been approved by the Food & Drug Administration for emergency use reinforces the importance of vaccinations among the American public as one of the most effective strategies for defeating the COVID-19 pandemic.
NHPCO strongly encourages all hospice and palliative care provider staff and volunteers to get vaccinated against COVID-19, recognizing that there should be allowances made for medical exemptions and accommodations for deeply held religious beliefs. Additionally, NHPCO supports healthcare providers that adopt mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policies.
NHPCO asks that all provider organizations continue efforts to support vaccinations for your teams. Consideration of a COVID-19 vaccination policy for your organization may be beneficial if one is not already in place. It is important to consult with your legal counsel and/or compliance staff to determine if any state-level laws may affect the implementation of a mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy.
We know that our members have been working hard to ensure that staff have the flexibility needed to secure a vaccination along with any necessary time to recover from possible side effects – we applaud these organizations for this sensitivity and awareness.
Educational efforts to provide the public with reliable information to help them understand the science regarding FDA approved vaccinations and to make well-informed decisions about COVID-19 vaccinations should continue in communities across the country.
NHPCO continues to work to support the hospice and palliative care community in response to the ongoing pandemic and Public Health Emergency.
NHPCO has created a number of free resources to help providers coping with the COVID-19 pandemic, please visit nhpco.org/coronavirus.
National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO)