Those laws just regard healthcare professionals, though. Each year, approximately 226,000 are hospitalized and 36,000 people die due to the flu. Requiring an annual flu vaccine demonstrates our commitment to protect the safety and health of our patients, many of whom already have weakened immune systems, as well as visitors, co-workers and our families.Nine states (California, Georgia, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Tennessee) require health care facilities, sometimes limited to hospitals, to offer personnel an influenza vaccination at no charge.Three states (Nevada, Oregon and Virginia) and the District of Columbia do not require influenza vaccination of health care facility employees, but maintain laws that encourage vaccination availability to health care facility personnel.Illinois mandates that hospitals get health assessments from employees, which include immunization status.Five children diagnosed with measles are no longer contagious and have been cleared to return to their Palatine day care center, said a company spokeswoman.
Because flu season can begin as early as October, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”), employers are already beginning to consider their approach to mandatory vaccinations for the 2013-2014 season. Only four states (Alabama, Colorado, New Hampshire and Rhode Island) currently require health care facilities to develop policies to vaccinate personnel.Mandatory vaccination laws require health care facilities, sometimes limited to hospitals, to provide influenza vaccinations to all consenting personnel.Personnel who fail to consent must have either a medical or religious exemption, and those who forego receiving the vaccine based upon one of these exemptions may, generally, be required to wear a surgical or procedural mask during influenza season.The 34 remaining states do not have laws that require health care facilities to ensure or offer influenza vaccination.But citing the vaccination’s lack of efficacy and limit on autonomy, there is a bill currently pending in Wisconsin that would prohibit employers from requiring an influenza vaccination.