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Medical News & Perspectives
October 13, 2010

Mandatory Influenza Vaccination Urged for Clinicians, Other Health Workers

JAMA. 2010;304(14):1545. doi:10.1001/jama.2010.1413

In an effort to combat low rates of vaccination among health care workers, a growing number of professional medical organizations and health care facilities are adopting policies mandating influenza vaccination for individuals who work with patients.

In September, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) became the latest organization to issue a policy promoting mandatory immunization against influenza for health care workers, with exemptions for health reasons. In July and August, the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) toughened its policy on flu vaccination for health care workers by removing an exemption for religious reasons and specifying that annual vaccination should be a condition of employment in health care settings and/or a requirement to receive professional privileges. The Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America adopted a similar policy. In November 2009, the National Patient Safety Foundation had voiced its support for mandatory vaccination of health care workers.