Tags: Cold/Flu | healthcare | workers | flu | mandatory | nurses

Should Nurses Be Forced to Get Flu Shot?

By    |   Friday, 26 Sep 2014 02:43 PM

Nurses at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston are suing the medical facility over a pending mandate that all healthcare workers be vaccinated against the flu.
 
The Massachusetts Nurses Association filed the suit, seeking to block a policy not yet in effect that would require nurses to get flu shots if they want to keep working there, The Boston Globe reports.

The action in Suffolk Superior Court comes as state health officials are pushing hospitals to improve the influenza vaccination rate among healthcare workers, which varied in hospitals from 62 percent to 99 percent during the most recent flu season.
 
Healthcare workers can transmit the flu to patients, whose illnesses make them especially vulnerable to complications.
 
Brigham and Women’s, with a worker vaccination rate of 77 percent, instituted the mandate in an effort to match the levels of other teaching hospitals in Boston, most of which vaccinate more than 90 percent of employees.
 
The Massachusetts Nurses Association, the union representing 3,200 nurses at the Brigham, said in its lawsuit that the hospital’s mandate, which could lead to the firing of employees who refuse vaccination, violates a state regulation that explicitly bars hospitals from requiring employees to the receive vaccine if they don’t want it.
 
David Schildmeier, the spokesman for the nurses’ union, called the regulation “crystal clear.”
 
“Every employee has a right to decline,” he said. “All they have to do is sign a form. They don’t have to give a reason.”

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Nurses at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston are suing the medical facility over a pending mandate that all healthcare workers be vaccinated against the flu.
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2014-43-26
Friday, 26 Sep 2014 02:43 PM
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