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Medical leaders in Washington support mandatory vaccinations for health care workers

Jane McNulty, a nurse, administers a COVID-19 vaccine to Myo Thant, a patient care technician, at the UW Medical Center on Dec.15, 2020 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by David Ryder/Getty Images)

As a push to get more people fully vaccinated comes out of Washington, D.C., local leaders in Washington state are starting to express their view on mandatory vaccinations.

Want schools to stay open? WA Superintendent says ‘get vaccinated’

Washington State Medical Association President Dr. Nathan Schlicher says the group supports the move should the governor decide to give the order to mandate vaccinations for health care workers.

“If you’re in direct patient care, caring for patients that are at risk, your patients deserve to know that you’re doing everything you can to keep them safe and healthy,” he said.

If you’re a health care worker and can’t get on board with vaccinations, Schlicher says: “Being on the front lines of this pandemic is not the place for you.”

Dr. Schlicher says a recent study by the American Medical Association found that more than 96% of doctors across the country are fully vaccinated. He says it’s time that all medical staff follow their lead.

“The evidence supports that the vaccines are safe, that they’re incredibly effective, and we’re facing new challenges and new variants,” Schlicher said. “It’s time that every health care worker steps up and gets vaccinated. We really need to lead by example.”

Governor says more vaccine strategies could be on the way for Washington

Governor Jay Inslee has not yet decided if mandatory vaccinations for health care workers will become state law.

KIRO Radio reporter Hanna Scott contributed to this report.

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