On January 13, the American Medical Association (AMA) issued a statement attributable to AMA President Gerald E. Harmon, MD, regarding Supreme Court opinions on vaccination and testing requirements. The statement reads as follows:
“In the face of a continually evolving COVID-19 pandemic that poses a serious danger to the health of our nation, on January 13, the Supreme Court halted one of the most effective tools in the fight against further transmission and death from this aggressive virus. While the AMA is pleased by today’s opinion allowing the Center for Medicare and Medicaid’s (CMS) interim rule requiring COVID-19 vaccines for health care workers to take effect, it is deeply disappointed that the Court blocked the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) emergency temporary standard for COVID-19 vaccination and testing for large businesses from moving forward.
“Workplace transmission has been a major factor in the spread of COVID-19. Now more than ever, workers in all settings across the country need commonsense, evidence-based protections against COVID-19 infection, hospitalization, and death — particularly those who are immunocompromised or cannot get vaccinated due to a medical condition. In fact, recent data released by United Airlines shows that before their own vaccine requirement went into effect, on average, more than one United employee was dying each week from the virus; however, today, none of their vaccinated workers are currently hospitalized with COVID-19 despite breakthrough infections and 3,000 current positive employees.
“The high court’s decision does not contest the reliability of scientific evidence in support of COVID-19 vaccine requirements, and in fact, cites the AMA’s support in upholding the CMS rule. Widespread use of COVID-19 vaccines has proven to be the safest, most effective way to reduce virus transmission and public harm. The AMA continues to urge large employers to do their part to safeguard their workforces and communities so we can defeat this COVID-19 pandemic together.”