Nurses have worked selflessly to care for others during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Now they have the opportunity to protect themselves and others by getting immunized against this new virus. Nurses and other healthcare workers have been selected to be among the first to be vaccinated because of their contact with patients and their potential for infection.
To be effective, the COVID-19 vaccine must be received by a large percentage of the adult population, and nurses who serve as frontline caregivers and make informed choices 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 while protecting the public from community spread. 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 December, 21, 2020, the Oklahoma 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. We encourage nurses to use trusted knowledge, ethical frameworks, and current science-based resources as the foundation for their decision-making. ONA and ANA believe that there should be no retaliation against nurses who choose not to take a COVID-19 vaccine.
Nurses, as trusted health care professionals, have a critical role to play in administering COVID Vaccines to Oklahomans. COVID-19 vaccines can be safely administered by nurses and nursing students under the supervision of faculty or other appropriate licensed practitioners.
Our knowledge about COVID-19 and related vaccines is continuously evolving. (See attached COVID-19 Vaccine Facts.) ONA 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.