Minnesota Nurses Association supports 'voluntary' COVID-19 vaccination amid hospital mandates

As hospital systems across Minnesota are implementing vaccine mandates for employees amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the Minnesota Nurses Association is expressing support for "voluntary" vaccination programs, according to a statement.

According to MNA, the Board of the Directors came to the decision after surveying MNA members and determining members are not unified either for or against the vaccine mandates. Yet, MNA stated "that all those who can be vaccinated should be." The union said it was in support of other measures such as personal protective equipment, contact tracing, and paid COVID leave for healthcare workers who need to quarantine.

HealthPartners, Allina Health, M Health Fairview and Essentia Health have all announced COVID-19 vaccination requirements for its employees. Some hospital systems are also requiring influenza vaccination. The White House also announced a plan Thursday that will require all employers with 100 or more employees to have a COVID-19 vaccine mandate or weekly testing.

In the statement, MNA argued the mandates "will continue to exacerbate staffing shortages."

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states the best protection against the coronavirus and the delta variant is vaccination.