The Indiana State Nurses Association Position Statement for the COVID-19 Vaccine
Adapted from the ANA Position Statement on Immunizations (2020)
The Indiana State Nurses Association encourages Hoosiers to get vaccinated which not only strengthens the health of our Indiana communities but also improves the safety of our healthcare providers. As stated in the Code of Ethics for Nurses (ANA, 2015, p. 19), registered nurses have an ethical responsibility to “model the same health maintenance and health promotion measures that they teach and research…,” which includes immunization against vaccine-preventable diseases.
ISNA and ANA strongly recommend that registered nurses be vaccinated against COVID-19. We recognize an individual’s risk benefit analysis could be such that a nurse may choose not to be vaccinated due to personal, medical, or religious beliefs. We do not believe nurses should be retaliated or discriminated against if they do not choose to be vaccinated.
We understand that Indiana nurses practice in various settings, interact with our communities in a multitude of ways, and have their own individual beliefs. We recognize vaccinations are an individual’s choice, and we also acknowledge the importance of providing a safe environment for patients.
ISNA encourages employers of Indiana nurses to continue to follow best practices and provide safe environments for staff and patients. Effective protection of the public health mandates 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).
Employers of registered nurses are responsible for establishing a culture of safety and implementing policies that improve the health of their workers. Successful immunization policies and programs require open communication and transparency between RNs and employers.
RNs are responsible for providing patients with evidence-based information to support and promote optimal health and wellness, and for leading by example by participating in health-oriented activities such as immunizations to the greatest possible extent. “Public trust will be damaged if [nurses] appear to suggest vaccines for others but avoid them for themselves” (Galanakis, Jansen, & Lopalco, 2013).
As novel diseases emerge, such as COVID-19, ISNA and ANA support ongoing research and development of safe, easily accessed vaccinations for these public health threats. Vaccinations must be available to everyone.
American Nurses Association. (2021). ANA Position statement on immunizations. Retrieved June 14, 2021, from the ANA Enterprise website https://www.nursingworld.org/~4ad2e4/globalassets/docs/ana/executivesummarypositionstatement_immunizations.pdf
American Nurses Association. (2015). Code of ethics for nurses with interpretive statements. Silver Spring, MD: Nursesbooks.org.
Galanakis, E., Jansen, A., Lopalco, P. L., & Giesecke, J. (2013). Ethics of mandatory vaccination for healthcare workers. Euro Surveill., 18(45), 20627.