More than half the hospitals in the U.S. have some sort of institutional requirement for flu shots among staff members.
A study, Institutional Requirements for Influenza Vaccination of Healthcare Personnel: Results From a Nationally Representative Survey of Acute Care Hospitals—United States, 2011 , appearing in the December issue of Clinical Infectious Diseases, surveyed 998 acute care hospitals. For the purpose of the survey, an institutional requirement was defined as “a policy that requires HCP to receive or decline influenza vaccination, with or without consequences for vaccine refusal.”
Of the respondents, 55.6% reported having institutional requirements for worker vaccination. Although employees were uniformly subject to requirements, non employees often were not. Less than half, 44.4%, of facilities had requirements with consequences for vaccine refusal.
Of respondents citing consequences, wearing a mask was the most common, 74.2%. Termination for unvaccinated workers was cited by 14.4% of the facilities.
“Influenza vaccination requirements were prevalent among hospitals of varying size and location. However, few policies were as stringent or as comprehensive as those endorsed by health professional organization.” the study concluded.