The health and safety of patients is at the core of the mission of New Hampshire hospitals and at the forefront of all that they do, and for that reason, the New Hampshire Hospital Association supports the adoption of mandated COVID-19 vaccine policies for employees at New Hampshire’s hospitals and health systems.
Hospital and health system employee vaccinations against COVID-19 are critical to ensuring safe environments of care for all patients by protecting them from infection, and to mitigating the spread of the virus within healthcare facilities. The scientific evidence behind vaccines has clearly demonstrated that they are safe, highly effective and reduce both transmission and harm, and hospitals already require vaccinations for other highly communicable diseases as an infection control measure.
“Many regional and national organizations representing medical professionals have recently stated their support for mandated COVID-19 vaccines for healthcare workers to control the spread of this deadly disease, especially within healthcare facilities,” stated Steve Ahnen, president of the New Hampshire Hospital Association. “This is absolutely something we support in an effort to protect both our patients and our employees from COVID-19.”
New Hampshire’s hospitals and their health care heroes have seen first-hand the devastating impact of COVID-19 on their patients, but also on their staff. Prior to the availability of vaccines and when community transmission was increasing rapidly, hospital staff that became impacted through exposure or infection were unable to work, causing incredible stress on the ability of hospitals to staff and care for all of their patients.
“The COVID-19 vaccine prevents people from becoming seriously ill, requiring hospitalization, or dying from the virus,” stated Don Caruso, MD, President & CEO of Cheshire Medical Center and the current Chair of the New Hampshire Hospital Association Board of Trustees. “As public health leaders, our mission is to protect the lives and well-being of both our patients and our staff, and the COVID-19 vaccine is the most effective way we can do that.”
A recent study in New Hampshire conducted by the Josiah Bartlett Center using state data reinforced that vaccinated patients are less likely to fall severely ill and require hospitalization. Since the beginning of February, according to state data, unvaccinated individuals have accounted for 99% of New Hampshire’s COVID-19 cases and 98% of deaths.
“Our actions are critical to stopping the spread of COVID-19, and we must all remain vigilant and continue taking steps to mitigate the spread of the virus, and most importantly, that means to get vaccinated.” stated Steve Ahnen.
New Hampshire Hospital Association Consensus Statement on Mandatory COVID-19 Vaccine
The New Hampshire Hospital Association supports that every NH hospital and health system adopt a policy endorsing mandatory COVID-19 vaccination for all hospital and health system employees and clinical staff, with appropriate exemptions.
This recognizes the critical role that NH hospitals have served in public health leadership during the COVID-19 pandemic. It is consistent with our commitment to optimize the safety of care for our patients and to protect the lives and well-being of our health care workers.