Statement From AMSN ON COVID-19 Vaccination
The Academy of Medical-Surgical Nurses (AMSN) recommends every person indicated to receive the COVID-19 coronavirus vaccine be vaccinated as soon as it becomes available for them.
Nurses lead. We strongly recommend that every nurse and health care professional, especially those in direct patient care, be vaccinated against COVID-19. Vaccination is an important personal health choice, indicated for most individuals but not everyone. We recommend every nurse exercise professional expert leadership, practice due diligence by staying informed about the vaccine, and encourage COVID-19 vaccination in their community. Recognizing that vaccines released under Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) bring different considerations from those fully approved by the Food and Drug Administration, we encourage nurses to use current science-based resources as the basis for their decision-making. We also align with nursing organizations, such as the American Association of Critical Care Nurses (AACN) and American Nurses Association (ANA), that state there should be no retaliation against nurses who choose not to take a COVID-19 vaccine. Employers should provide such individuals personal protective equipment (PPE) to protect patients, colleagues, and the individuals themselves.
Overwhelming evidence of safety and efficacy. Independent panels of expert scientists and the federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have approved administration of COVID-19 vaccines to patients on the basis of overwhelming scientific evidence for the vaccines and rigorous review processes. The vaccines that have been approved under EUA have demonstrated efficacy against the coronavirus, and while we know that clinical efficacy is not the same as effectiveness, the data is very positive. The fact that COVID-19 vaccines have been developed, tested, approved, and produced in an historically short period of time has been raised as a concern. We have determined that COVID-19 vaccine availability was accelerated by massive resource investments and applications of scientific ingenuity - and not by taking shortcuts that would risk people’s health. We have compiled resources to assist you with understanding this process on our COVID-19 resource page online. We are continuing to monitor further evidence developed in the scientific literature and will update our members accordingly.
Serious risks from COVID-19 disease justify vaccination. There are individuals otherwise indicated for vaccination who are hesitant to be vaccinated. Some have expressed concern that the vaccine’s long-term effects have not been studied. Others do not trust the health care system, citing the harmful legacy of racism or other factors. Respecting those concerns, and as registered nurses who care for COVID-19 patients, we implore everyone who is eligible to be vaccinated against COVID-19. Protection from COVID-19 by vaccination is important because the disease is long proven to be highly contagious and to have caused more than 300,000 deaths in the U.S. in 2020. Persons who recover from COVID-19 infection commonly report long-term symptoms; in some people they may be severe and debilitating. By contrast, COVID-19 vaccines are proven safe and efficacious. Research on both the disease and the vaccination should continue expanding knowledge and understanding that improves prevention and treatment of COVID-19.
Continue to wash, mask, keep social distance. Vaccination is shown to protect patients from getting sick from COVID-19, but there is not yet evidence showing it keeps persons from transmitting COVID-19 even if they are vaccinated and have no symptoms. We recommend people continue washing hands, using face coverings and keeping social distance to prevent transmission of COVID-19.