FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Lauren Nielsen
(St. Paul) – September 9, 2021 – Recently, the MNA Board of Directors surveyed MNA members asking their positions on impending mandatory vaccination programs being put forth by Minnesota hospitals. After reviewing the results of the survey and the wide variety of member positions on these issues, the MNA BOD does not believe members are unified around any one position either for or against the mandatory vaccination programs. As a result of that, the MNA Board is releasing the following statement:
The Minnesota Nurses Association believes that voluntary vaccination programs along with other essential infection control measures such as optimal personal protective equipment, contact tracing, rapid testing and results, adequate staffing, hygiene, environmental controls, isolation policies, and paid COVID leave for healthcare workers who need to quarantine are the most effective strategy for a healthy population and that all those who can be vaccinated should be.
We believe that hospitals and other healthcare institutions have a responsibility to provide all these measures to keep both workers and patients safe. Unfortunately, hospitals across our state and country have abandoned that responsibility in lieu of cost cutting measures that have left our facilities unprepared for the current crisis we are facing. After years of deliberate under staffing, increasing threats of workplace violence and lack of autonomy over their profession, the same healthcare workers who have been caring for us in our darkest hours are exhausted and leaving the profession early or for less demanding work. We question the timing of the impending vaccine mandates and believe these mandates will continue to exacerbate staffing shortages.
It’s time for our healthcare system to get back to healing the patient and upholding their responsibility to workers.