COVID-19 Vaccines and Professional Obligations for Otolaryngologists

Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2022 Jul;167(1):1-2. doi: 10.1177/01945998221086855. Epub 2022 Mar 15.


The American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery Foundation recently released a position statement with the following conclusion: "Otolaryngologists have a professional obligation to provide medically indicated care to all patients. They should not use vaccination status as a prerequisite to offer services except in exceptional circumstances. We all have a collective obligation to educate and encourage appropriate best public health practices and evidence-based infection control mitigation strategies including vaccination." We reflect on how this statement is consistent with time-honored principles and professional obligations inherent to the doctor-patient relationship, as well as consonant with the collective lessons that we have learned practicing during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Keywords: doctor-patient relationship; vaccine refusal.

MeSH terms

  • COVID-19 Vaccines
  • COVID-19* / prevention & control
  • Humans
  • Otolaryngologists*
  • Pandemics / prevention & control
  • Physician-Patient Relations
  • United States


  • COVID-19 Vaccines