An Open Letter to the American Public
By the AMERICAN MEDICAL ASSOC., AMERICAN HOSPITAL ASSOC., and AMERICAN NURSES ASSOC.
Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have come together as physicians, nurses, and hospital and health-system leaders to urge the American people to protect themselves, their neighbors, and their loved ones amidst the worst global health crisis in generations.
As we approach the point when a vaccine may be available, more than 260,000 Americans and more than 1.4 million people worldwide have lost their lives to COVID-19. We know that vaccines will save lives and help us turn the page on this virus. Vaccines have eradicated smallpox, nearly eliminated chickenpox and polio, and minimized the impact of countless other diseases. To achieve a similar result from COVID-19 vaccines requires trust in the process to develop, distribute, and administer a safe and effective vaccine and a broad willingness to get vaccinated.
As partners in your health, we are committed to:
• Following the science. We are committed to supporting the rigorous scientific and regulatory process by which COVID-19 vaccines are evaluated and may ultimately be authorized and recommended for use in the population.
• Your health and safety. We commit to establishing safe and effective processes for administering vaccine to all who are eligible and choose to get vaccinated.
• Being transparent. We will make critical information about vaccines available as it is released, working together to share plans for vaccinating communities across this country. We will share the benefits and risks of a vaccine so that you can make an informed decision for yourself and your loved ones.
We are committed as organizations to supporting a rigorous scientific and regulatory process by which COVID-19 vaccines are evaluated and may ultimately be approved. Until our population has been broadly immunized, we continue urging that you protect yourself and others from the virus by taking three critical, scientifically proven steps to prevent the spread of COVID-19: wear a face mask, maintain physical distancing, and wash your hands. These actions remain essential.
Know that your health and safety continues to remain our top priority, and we will get through this together.