Nurses favor vaccines, they oppose mandates
To the Editor: In your recent article “Mandate Outrage: Anti-Vaccine Crowd Shouts Down GOP” you quoted a nurse who led an anti-vaccine mandate protest outside of Concord Hospital. She shouted “protect the lives” of health care workers. As the executive director of the New Hampshire Nurses Association, I can say we understand how to protect the lives of healthcare workers. Nurses know that to be protected they should: wash their hands, stay home if they are sick, wear masks and get vaccinated. We even know how to sneeze when sick!
This knowledge is no different than any other stressed by nurses every flu season. The vaccination mandate is fracturing the profession and the issue is the word mandate. We would like the public to know that most nurses have chosen to be vaccinated simply because of the horror they experienced working these last 18 months during the pandemic. Nurses do not and cannot go through another surge. This is why they have been vaccinated and the issue is simply that, unlike the nurse quoted in your story, they are not anti-vaccine. Instead they oppose the word “mandate” in favor of choice.
The fear tactics that these anti-vaccine crowds are using saying that hospitals will shut down because nurses are not being vaccinated is simply not true. The truth is that we have a nursing shortage and we have to find ways to make education affordable and accessible to get more qualified individuals to enter our profession. We hope they will be vaccinated!
Ash Street, Manchester