LOUISVILLE, Ky. — After the U.S Supreme Court ruled healthcare facilities that receive Medicaid and Medicare can mandate their employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19, Kentucky Nurses Association CEO Delanor Manson said the organization was in favor of the decision.

What You Need To Know

  • U.S Supreme Court ruled certain healthcare facilities can mandate their employees to be vaccinated

  • The head of the Kentucky Nurses Association says it was a “positive step”

  • She argues vaccine mandates will keep patients and staff more safe

  • She also acknowledges it could lead to more people leaving healthcare jobs

Manson called it a "very positive step" in the fight against COVID-19.

“I am, and the Kentucky Nurses Association, is very supportive of keeping workers safe, as well as the patients and families that they interact with. And so I think that it’s a very positive step,” Manson said. “There are people who may not want to take the vaccine, but I think that when healthcare employers really consider the big picture of how to keep everyone safe, to have the authority and the commitment to make that happen, to stay focused on the importance of safety.”

Delanor Manson said the SCOTUS ruling will help keep patients and healthcare workers safe. (Spectrum News 1/Sam Knef)

In the last several months there have been lawsuits, protests and walkouts from healthcare workers saying they shouldn’t have to choose between losing their jobs, and taking a vaccine they don’t want to take.

Manson said she understands their frustration, but she said limiting the spread of the virus comes first, as omicron continues to spread across the state.

“I would say nurses are tired. They are physically, and emotionally, psychologically drained,” she said. “So you get a choice. You do not have to take a vaccine, but you do not get the choice to put patients and families and other healthcare workers in harm’s way.”

Manson said nurses make up 53% of the healthcare workforce. She acknowledged this ruling could lead to more people leaving a line of work that’s already facing a shortage in a time when healthcare workers are needed the most.

But, she also said this could lead to more people seeking more information, and perhaps reconsidering their stance.

The Supreme Court did block the Biden administration from enforcing a similar vaccine mandate for large non-healthcare employers in the U.S.