Wyoming Nurses Association

WNA Statement on Immunizations

Posted 9 months ago

Effective protection of the public health requires that all individuals receive immunizations against vaccine-preventable diseases according to the best and most current evidence outlined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP). All health care personnel (HCP), including registered nurses (RNs), should be vaccinated according to current recommendations for immunization of HCP by the CDC and Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC).

WNA and ANA do not support any exemptions from immunization other than for medical contraindications. All requests for medical exemption from vaccination should be accompanied by documentation from the appropriate authority to support the request. Recertification of the medical exemption is an annual obligation. Individuals exempted from vaccination may be required to adopt measures or practices in the workplace to reduce the chance of disease transmission. Employers should offer reasonable accommodations in such circumstances.

As novel diseases emerge, WNA and ANA support ongoing research and development of safe, easily accessed vaccinations for these public health threats. Vaccinations must be available to everyone.

Adapted from the ANA Statement

WNA Statement on COVID-19 Vaccination

Nurses and other healthcare professionals have been designated as top priority workers to receive the first COVID-19 vaccines. This is both a privilege and a source of anxiety. 

To be effective, the COVID-19 vaccine must be received by a large percentage of the adult population, and nurses who choose to be vaccinated serve as role models and trusted patient educators. Indeed, nurses’ decisions to be vaccinated against COVID-19 can help to shorten the duration of the pandemic. Ultimately, widespread effective vaccination will reduce the burden of this disease on acute and critical care units. If a vaccine allows more nurses to stay healthy, then there will be more support for patient care and clinical colleagues.

As of January 9, 2021, the Wyoming Nurses Association joins in with the American Nurses Association (ANA) and other nursing organizations such as the American Association of Critical-Care Nurse (AACN) to strongly recommend that nurses be vaccinated against COVID-19. 

This decision is ultimately up to each individual. Recognizing that vaccines released under Emergency Use Authorization bring different considerations from those fully approved by the Food and Drug Administration, we encourage nurses to use trusted knowledge, ethical frameworks and current science-based resources as the foundation for their decision-making. 

WNA and ANA believe that there should be no retaliation against nurses who choose not to take a COVID-19 vaccine. 

Our knowledge about COVID-19 and related vaccines is continuously evolving. WNA and ANA will share information from reliable sources as we advance our understanding on this topic. Nurses, the most trusted profession, must scrutinize all sources of information, decline to accept misinformation and disseminate only accurate information from credible scientific sources. 

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Adapted from the AACN Statement on COVID-19 Vaccinations