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Nursing, doctor and hospital groups urge health workers to take COVID-19 vaccine

Nursing, doctor and hospital groups urge health workers to take COVID-19 vaccine
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Nursing, doctor and hospital groups are urging all health professionals to take the coronavirus vaccine and share their experience with others as a way to convince as many people as possible to get vaccinated.

In an open letter published Tuesday, the American Nurses Association, the American Hospital Association and the American Medical Association said health professionals must "push for high rates of vaccination within the U.S. population if we hope to overcome this virus."

Most experts said the U.S. needs a minimum of 70 percent of the population to be vaccinated in order to achieve herd immunity.

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"As front-line caregivers, our essential role in protecting the health and wellbeing of our communities goes beyond the care we provide. As a valued and trusted voice, our example is perhaps the strongest health resource we have," the groups wrote. 

"Our hope is simple; we urge you to get the COVID-19 vaccine and share your experience with others."

Opposition to a coronavirus vaccine will be a challenge to overcome, but recent polls have found an increasing number of Americans are saying they will be vaccinated.

The health groups have issued a series of open letters recently, urging everyone to follow basic public health measures, and pledging transparency about their plans for vaccinating the American public.

The first doses of a coronavirus vaccine manufactured by Pfizer and BioNTech are being injected into health workers across the country this week, after it was cleared by the Food and Drug Administration on Friday. 

Federal officials are sending 2.9 million doses this week, with more arriving later in the month.

A second vaccine from Moderna could gain emergency authorization as soon as this week, with similar distribution to follow. Between the two separate vaccines, federal officials have a goal of giving 20 million Americans the first of two doses by the end of the year.