MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WBTW) — More than 50 health organizations and medical groups, including the National Pharmaceutical Association, are urging every health facility to require its workers to get vaccinated.

The National Pharmaceutical Association is an organization of pharmacists committed to serving the underserved and promoting minorities in pharmacy.

The groups signed a joint statement July 23 encouraging a vaccine mandate for health care workers in hospitals, clinics, and long-term care facilities.  Dr. Ryan Marable, President of NPA, says due to the highly contagious delta variant, vaccination is the primary way to put the pandemic behind us.

“The overall safety profile and the efficacy and profile of the COVID-19 vaccine is there,” Marable said. “While there are still some additional steps to get that full approval through the FDA, we’re at the point where we understand something has to be done and why not us, why not us as healthcare professionals to step forward.”

He says if health care workers on the front lines get vaccinated, it will protect those who are not able to get the vaccine, like children and immunocompromised patients.

“The original coronavirus was identified back in 2002, so it may seem like this is very fast but there has been a tremendous due diligence that ensures that this vaccine is safe and effective in treating people so just really getting out there and leading by example and continuing to educate underserved and underrepresented populations throughout this country,” Marable explained.  

Other organizations that are pushing for a vaccine mandate for health care workers include The American Medical Association and The American Nurses Association.

Locally, Tidelands Health is the only health care system requiring the vaccine for its workers.