Some hospitals make flu vaccinations mandatory

Emergency Management Alert, September 1, 2009

West Virginia's largest hospital, Charleston Area Medical Center (CAMC) is requiring its 6,000 employees to be vaccinated against seasonal flu, according to the Charleston Daily Mail.

Employees who wish to opt out of the vaccine because of reasons such as allergies can file paperwork by September 15 for an exemption. Everyone else at CAMC must be vaccinated by December 15 or risk losing their job. CAMC is one of the first hospitals to require such a vaccine.

A New York state law that takes effect this month requires hospitals to prove all workers have received seasonal flu shots, or face fines. The regulation was opposed by the New York State Nurses Association, which objected to the law's lack of provisions for health care workers who don't want the vaccine for religious or philosophical reasons. (Read more about the regulation on the OSHA Healthcare Advisor blog.)

The new policy comes into action as many hospitals prepare for a potential surge in patients due to both seasonal and novel H1N1 influenza.

Source: Charleston Daily Mail.

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