Healthcare workers in New York may be required to get immunized for seasonal and H1N1 influenza in the next few months.
The NY State Hospital Review and Planning Council (SHRPC) has approved an emergency regulation requiring influenza vaccinations for healthcare personnel, reports the Healthcare Association of New York State (HANYS).
The concept of mandatory vaccination is a controversial topic in recent years. It is generally accepted that vaccinating HCWs against influenza reduces nosocomial transmission and decreases staff illness and absenteeism . Despite such assertions, the concept of mandatory HCW influenza vaccination remains under debate.
Annual influenza vaccination was first recommended for health care workers (HCWs) by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices in 1984 . This paper seeks to briefly address whether HCWs are ethically obligated to accept influenza vaccination.
It was her opinion that the H1N1 vaccine had been hastily prepared without appropriate clinical testing.
Moreover, it seemed to her that the policy had a certain lack of regard for autonomy that she found very worrisome.
The emergency regulation would become effective when filed with the NY Department of State and would apply to “all personnel working in hospitals, diagnostic and treatment centers, certified home health agencies, long-term home health care programs, acquired immune deficiency syndrome home care programs, licensed home care service agencies, and hospices,” reports HANYS.
Regulations applying to nursing home personnel would require action by the state legislature.
He emphasized that her failure to comply could result in termination of her hospital privileges or employment. Ziad left the meeting dissatisfied and still unconvinced of the ethics of such a mandate.
Did her ethical duties as a health care professional override her individual rights to determine her own health care? Department of Health and Human Services claims that HCW vaccination is the cornerstone of flu prevention .
Ziad, a New York City physician, received a memo from her employer stating that, in accordance with a new hospital policy, she was required to receive both the seasonal influenza and novel H1N1 influenza vaccines.