Vaccine Mandates for Healthcare Employers- Advantages and Disadvantages

by
Saniya Mahajan
August 29, 2022

Vaccine Mandates for Healthcare Employers- Advantages and Disadvantages

While the current debate over employer vaccination mandates in the United States centers around the COVID-19 requirements, the mandates and the debate about them are as old as the country itself. Regardless of the status of the COVID-19 vaccination regulations, many employers are required by law for certain employees to be vaccinated against other diseases. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission explained that employers can require employees to be vaccinated if businesses "comply with the reasonable accommodation provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and other aspects of EEO."

What are the Advantages of Vaccination Mandates?

  1. The COVID-19 vaccines are effective in helping to protect against severe illness and death from the variants of the virus 
  2. Studies show that the vaccine is effective in protecting against COVID-19. Vaccination will also help prevent you from becoming seriously ill even if you do contract the virus.
  3. A vaccinated workforce should help you avoid contact tracing and long quarantine periods.
  4. Demonstrates good corporate citizenship. Vaccines protect the "herd". Once a critical portion of the population is vaccinated, an outbreak is unlikely to occur, protecting the healthcare community.
  5. It promotes a safe and healthy work environment while protecting vulnerable healthcare employees.
  6. Requiring a COVID vaccination can reduce employee anxiety about being in the workplace.
  7. It supports stable employee conditions due to fewer illnesses and the need for time off.

It’s also important to keep in mind that COVID-19 vaccines are FDA-approved, having met their rigorous scientific standards for safety, effectiveness, and manufacturing quality. 

Disadvantages of a Workplace Vaccine Mandate

Unless you’re currently required by law to mandate vaccines for your healthcare employees, here are a few reasons why you might not want to. 

  1. One of the biggest deterrents to the vaccination mandate is that workers can quit if you demand it. If many employees refuse the vaccine, it will have a negative impact on business operations.
  2. You may believe that an employer should not interfere with personal medical decisions (unless required by law).
  3. Union collective bargaining obligations may prohibit the mandated COVID vaccine.
  4. Ethical problems can arise with mandatory vaccines because they violate constitutionally protected religious freedoms. Vaccines may contain ingredients that some consider immoral or otherwise undesirable.
  5. Policy administration. What will be the procedure for tracking and storing information, processing accommodation requests, and increasing costs?
  6. Office logistics: Can you stay socially distanced from co-workers all day? Are most employees remote? Does the job require you to wear masks while inside?
  7. Most adults don't like being told what to do. What kind of hit would your company culture take if the vaccine mandate increased employee resentment?

A Possible Middle Way

With health and safety at the forefront of every business leader's mind, there are possible "meet in the middle" solutions you can support without risking alienating your healthcare workforce, such as:

  • Motivate healthcare workers to get the vaccine
  • If possible, make the shot easily accessible (on location).
  • Provide time off for vaccinations or testing (and recovery if necessary)
  • Allow unvaccinated employees to move to a department or location that is less accessible to the public

Vaccine mandates remain controversial, but the employer's stance is increasingly important. This makes good communication essential to avoid making staff uncomfortable. Being sensitive to different attitudes toward vaccination is also important, given how divisive the conversation has become in the United States. 

As of today, here is the latest update: U.S. Supreme Court's Sotomayor Rejects Challenge to N.Y. COVID Vaccine Mandate (usnews.com)

Conclusion

Having said that, DirectShifts as an organization is always there to assist and guide you on the latest updates. Our secure system will automatically notify you, a month in advance, of any upcoming license certification expirations which help you maintain all your credentialing documents including vaccination certificates. Clinicians play an essential role at all levels of healthcare. Their professional certifications and completed training ensure clinicians will have the required education, experience, and skillset to successfully treat patients, with an apt clinical and emotional understanding of the patient’s condition. Having and maintaining these healthcare credentials are important to how clinicians and medical professionals secure their jobs, negotiate for and earn higher salaries, prepare for leadership roles, and advance their careers. The more skills and training the clinician has, the better equipped they are to provide their patients with higher quality care. Make your life easier, more convenient, and more transparent with the DirectShifts platform!

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