State Must Protect Patients by Ending Prohibition on Mandatory Vaccines for Health Care Workers

Lake Oswego, Ore. – July 14, 2021 – Becky Hultberg, President and CEO of the Oregon Association of Hospitals and Health Systems, released the following statement regarding newly released data on vaccination rates among health care workers in Oregon.  

“As the number of hospitals and health systems requiring COVID-19 vaccination for employees continues to grow across the U.S., here in Oregon we can’t even have the conversation. Ensuring health care workers are vaccinated protects vulnerable patients, visitors, and coworkers. It is unconscionable to leave tools on the table during a global pandemic. It’s well past time for state leaders to address this misguided policy.” 

Nationwide, more than 30 health systems and hospital associations have backed vaccine mandates for their workers. Countries around the globe – including Italy, France, and Greece – have instituted mandatory vaccines for health care workers. Oregon law prohibits requiring health care workers to be vaccinated as a condition of employment. The Oregon Health Authority could write a rule ending this prohibition, or the Legislature could pass a new law.