As we wrote in this space a couple of days ago, CDC says it’s not too late to get your flu shot  amid one of the most severe flu seasons in years and highly recommends it.
Obviously, folks who work in healthcare should strongly consider getting vaccinated as long as they don’t have a health condition that could be compromised by the vaccine or object to it on religious grounds. Not only are caregivers likely to come into contact with infected citizens, they can also spread it to others even if they don’t feel sick.
Both CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices and its Healthcare Infection Control Practices Advisory Committee recommend that all U.S. healthcare workers get vaccinated annually. But in many states, they are not required by law to do so.
Some healthcare facilities, of course, have required that employees get vaccines. In some cases, that has led to legal challenges from employees and unions . But for the most part, it seems that caregivers have been willing to comply with such mandates .
Are you considering the institution of a mandatory flu vaccine policy in your healthcare facility, too? Here, from the November 2016 edition of HCPro newsletter Briefings on Accreditation and Quality , are some things for healthcare leaders to consider:
- Do you have unionized employees? Be sure to check your contract to see if a flu shot policy needs to be negotiated.
- Which employees do you want to cover? And how will you handle non-employees, including volunteers and contractors?
- How will you handle exceptions: Under what circumstances will you grant a waiver; who will decide if an employee seeking a waiver is eligible?
- If you mandate the policy, who will preside over waivers?
- Who will be the point person who considers employee requests for waivers? Should it be a medical expert, someone from Human Resources or both?
- If you require shots, consider informing individuals during the interview process.