Dr. Anthony Fauci has backed requiring COVID-19 vaccines for healthcare workers who see patients, saying that it’s “inexplicable” that anyone in that field wouldn’t get the shot.
“I’m very much in favor of mandating if you want to see patients and you want to participate in healthcare, you need to get vaccinated, period,” Fauci said Sunday on NBC News’ “Meet the Press.”
The White House chief medical advisor noted that vaccine mandates aren’t a new concept for healthcare workers.
“I see patients at the [National Institue of Health] Clinical Center. If I don’t get the flu vaccine or hepatitis vaccine, I’m not allowed to see patients. So this isn’t something that’s brand new with Covid,” Fauci said.
Asked if he could imagine a healthcare worker refusing a vaccine, Fauci said he finds such decisions “inexplicable.”
“You are a healthcare worker. Your profession — the thing you’ve devoted your life to — is to protect people, to make them well, to protect them from disease,” Fauci said.
Nearly 1,500 hospitals — around a quarter of all hospitals in the country — have required employees to get vaccinated against COVID-19, CNN reported.
But at least seven states have passed laws that forbid vaccine mandates or passports that would require showing proof of vaccination, according to the National Academy for State Health Policy.
In northwestern Montana, Logan Health officials said they would implement vaccine requirements if state law would allow it.
“Wearing a mask whenever you’re in our facilities, that helps, but being able to vaccinate everyone would help more,” chief medical officer, Dr. Doug Nelson, told CNN.