FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 23, 2021
Contact: Brian Reardon
Statement by Sr. Mary Haddad, RSM, President and Chief Executive Officer
Catholic Health Association of the United States
WASHINGTON, DC — The Catholic Health Association of the United States (CHA) implores all health care workers to get vaccinated against COVID-19 to protect themselves, their co-workers, their patients, their loved ones, and their neighbors. CHA also strongly supports member health systems as they take necessary steps toward ensuring as many health care workers as possible receive the vaccines.
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The alarming rise in COVID-19 cases over the past several weeks due to the delta variant and vaccine hesitancy is a stark reminder of the serious health threat the virus poses, particularly for the elderly and individuals with underlying medical conditions. The escalation in COVID-19 cases also threatens our ability to be in communion with one another. Attending family gatherings, visiting friends and worshiping together safely are all critically important to our individual and collective well-being.
The COVID-19 vaccines are proven to be safe and highly effective at mitigating the risk of infection. Those who are vaccinated are protecting themselves and contributing to the common good by helping reduce the spread of the virus. The high level of vaccine hesitancy however, creates the potential need to reinstate restrictions to stem the spread of the virus. Limiting social interaction, economic activity and in-person learning would be a step backwards as we try to emerge from the pandemic. Such restrictions would also disproportionately impact essential workers and families who are struggling financially.
All of us who serve in Catholic health care have accepted the call to provide compassionate healing to the sick and suffering, especially those who are the most vulnerable in our society. It is imperative that all of us who have dedicated our careers to bring hope and healing to others answer this call by getting vaccinated. CHA has been encouraging vaccine acceptance through our #LoveThyNeighbor social media campaign which expresses our solidarity with one another as we work to put COVID-19 behind us. By accepting the vaccine, Catholic health care professionals working in hospitals, clinics, long-term care facilities and in the community give witness to Christ's call to love one another.
The Catholic Health Association of the United States is the national leadership organization of the Catholic health ministry, representing the largest nonprofit provider of health care services in the nation.
- 1 in 7 patients in the U.S. is cared for in a Catholic hospital each day.
- Catholic health care, which includes more than 2,200 hospitals, nursing homes, long-term care facilities, systems, sponsors, and related organizations, serves the full continuum of health care across our nation.