AANMC Statement on COVID-19 Immunization

The Association of Accredited Naturopathic Medical Colleges (AANMC) Statement on COVID-19 Immunization

The AANMC represents accredited and recognized programs leading to a Doctorate of Naturopathic Medicine in the United States and Canada.

AANMC member institutions strongly recommend that all members of their communities, particularly those working or learning in a clinical setting, receive COVID-19 immunization as soon as it becomes available to them. The emerging evidence on COVID-19 immunizations and treatments is being closely monitored, and all AANMC members support adhering to federal/state/provincial/territorial government and public health agency guidelines for healthcare providers and academic institutions. Further, while each institution must determine the best course for its constituents, AANMC members support those institutions that require COVID-19 immunizations to protect their communities.

The AANMC member institutions will continue to emphasize following public health and safety practices, and stress the need to continue these practices until there is eradication of this disease, or new information to curb its spread emerges, including:

  • Physical distancing
  • Mask wearing
  • Hygienic practices – hand washing and sanitation procedures
  • Increased room ventilation
  • Physical isolation at the first sign of illness or with suspected exposure
  • Tracking positive cases and immunization status within our communities to minimize exposure and community risk

The health of our communities and patients is of utmost concern to us all. AANMC recognizes the importance of evidence-based natural therapies, including supporting the individual’s terrain, overall health and wellness. AANMC honors the naturopathic principles and the importance of mental, emotional and physical health with the powerful tools naturopathic medicine offers. In addition to COVID immunization, the following is important:

  • Stress reduction
  • Sufficient rest and relaxation
  • Optimal nutrient intake
  • Regular physical activity
  • Addressing the individual needs of patients 

COVID-19 is a novel disease that has rapidly spread around the world and has altered the very fabric of our daily lives. Numerous vaccines and therapeutics are now being distributed to combat the worldwide pandemic, and we expect these to continue to produce encouraging results. A COVID-19 vaccine may not be a panacea for this disease, and while data from thousands of vaccine recipients indicates that very few people become hospitalized from COVID-19 after receiving the vaccine, it is not yet known the degree to which a vaccinated person can spread the virus to others. The duration of immunity is also still being ascertained, and certain portions of the population are now eligible for boosters.

AANMC members have developed their position on the importance of COVID-19 immunization in fighting the pandemic based upon the following evidence:

As of August 26 2021in the US, there have been 649,867 reported deaths from the pandemic and 39,182,953 reported cases. In the same timeframe, Canada has had 1,479,998 cases and 26,855 deaths. Longer-term symptoms continue past active infection for a significant percentage of those who have recovered from the virus. Worldwide, there have been at least 4,467,305 reported deaths from the pandemic. Per the CDC, unvaccinated individuals are 17 times more likely to be hospitalized.

The most vulnerable members of our community (including the elderly, Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC), socioeconomically disadvantaged, and people living with disabilities) have been significantly over-represented in both illness and deaths. Without the vaccine, the long-term disease and the impacts to our communities, front-line healthcare workforce and economy will continue to escalate.

COVID-19 vaccine administration is now FDA approved for the prevention of COVID-19 disease in those 12 years and older. In the groups for which these vaccines are authorized, it is believed that any possible or theoretical risk of these vaccines is far less than the very real risk of COVID-19 to healthy people and those in their circles. While there are reported instances of adverse reactions to these vaccines, it is important to remember that millions of doses have been administered without incident or harm.

This statement will continue to be updated as new information emerges.

Initial statement December 23, 2020

Revised statement Aug 30, 2021

References:

CDC

California

University of California and UCSD

Washington

Oregon

Illinois

 

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