September 1, 2010

Mandatory Flu Vaccine?

(Ivanhoe Newswire) "“ Last year, nearly 40 percent of healthcare professionals had no intention of getting a flu shot. On the heels of one of the worst flu seasons in our nation's history, a new policy recommends that the vaccine be mandated.

"The transmission of influenza in healthcare settings is a substantial safety concern for both patients and healthcare personnel and deserves our attention and action. Healthcare providers are ethically obligated to take measures proven to keep patients from acquiring influenza in healthcare settings," Neil Fishman, president of the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA) was quoted as saying.

According to SHEA, this recommendation should apply to healthcare professionals in all settings. The mandatory vaccine is intended to be part of a comprehensive infection control program.

"Vaccination of healthcare personnel saves patients' lives and reduces illness. It also protects the individual worker from falling ill during influenza outbreaks and from missing work, which further impacts patient care," Richard Whitley, president of the Infectious Diseases Society of America added.

SOURCE: Infection Control and Healthcare Epidemiology, August 2010.