Should flu vaccine be mandated for health care workers?
■ Connected coverage - selected articles on trends, challenges and controversies in the changing world of medicine
Posted Feb. 27, 2012
A persistent concern in flu prevention is that individuals whose work puts them in contact with patients are often reluctant to get vaccinated. Physicians are among the most likely to get the shot, and even their vaccination rate is below the target of 90%. Yet when health care organizations require flu immunization, they have achieved an average vaccination rate of 98.1%.
Recently, American Medical News reported that even the business community is calling for mandatory vaccinations in the health care setting. That call follows an earlier recommendation from within the medical profession. Meanwhile, there has been an uptick in health worker vaccinations, though compliance remains far short of the goal.
Employees who do not get immunized typically are required to wear face masks when they interact with patients -- or risk losing their jobs. Read more
CDC data show that 63% were immunized by mid-November 2011, up from 56% at that time in 2010. Read Story
An epidemiology organization states that there is an "ethical responsibility" to prevent the spread of infection to patients. Read Story