1:51pm

Thu January 26, 2012
Health

State Health Board Proposes Rule Requiring Heath Workers Get Flu Vaccine

The Colorado State Board of Health is voting next month on a rule that would require most hospitals and nursing home facilities to vaccinate their employees from flu.

 The new rule does not have exceptions for religious or personal beliefs.

According to the Denver Post, the State Health Department says patient protections outweigh personal choice.

Dr. Jane Orient, Executive Director of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons is against the proposed rule. She says about half of health care workers decide not to get annual flu vaccines. She believes people have a right to make medical decisions for themselves. 

 "I think that people are under pressure to get the shot or lose their job, partly because of pressure on their facility, that probably fear their going to lose their federal funding if they don’t enforce their policy.” 

The Colorado Hospital Association supports the concept of the rule. Julian Kesner, spokesmen for CHA says the group of 95 hospitals and health systems voted last May to support mandatory vaccinations for hospital and nursing home employees. He says that's ahead of federal regulations which could take effect in a few years.

“We felt that it was important to take the lead on an issue that has been gaining increasing national awareness and importance.”

Kesner says the CHA has a few concerns relating to possibly 'overly burdensome' reporting regulations with the new rule, but hopes the group can come to a resolution with the state.

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