States mandating flu vaccine
, examines the relationship between state laws regulating flu vaccines for health care workers and the state-level immunization rates among health care workers between 2001-2011.
From 2000 to 2005, only two states, Maine and New Hampshire, had flu vaccine requirement laws for health care workers.
“There are numerous nosocomial outbreaks of influenza traced back to an infected health care worker that have been documented in the literature.” In addition, a 2014 meta-analysis in reported that nearly all included studies showed a benefit in patients' all-cause mortality when facilities increased influenza vaccination rates among health care workers.
The Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC), the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA), the CDC, and other groups have long recommended yearly vaccination of health care workers to reduce health care-acquired influenza.
Some laws mandated that health care employers pay for the vaccines.
Others required formal documentation, education and reporting of vaccination rates.
Over a two-month span at the start of the following winter, at least 15 more hospital workers in four states were let go for the same reason.
According to several media reports, IU Health Goshen Hospital had instituted a policy requiring employees to get flu shots.
reports that three employees of Lutheran Social Ministries of New Jersey expect to be fired on Friday because they're refusing flu vaccinations.
Lutheran Social Ministries first began as an orphanage in Jersey City, and today focuses on providing aid for the elderly and needy throughout the state. What's more, the three workers at the heart of the flu shot controversy do not work with the public.
And yes, there have been instances in which employees have left hospitals or been fired outright for refusal.
For instance, in early 2012 a hospital in Indiana fired eight workers, including three popular veteran nurses, because they declined to be vaccinated.
Many medical organizations and physicians argue that health care workers have an ethical obligation to protect themselves and their patients from influenza.