It has been well documented that unvaccinated health care workers have been implicated in hospital outbreaks of influenza. A new law in Texas seeks to help reduce these outbreaks. Starting September 1, health care facilities (hospitals, nursing homes, dialysis centers, ambulatory surgical centers, birthing centers, freestanding ERs) will be required to implement preventable disease immunization policies.
Health care workers can be exempt from the policy for health reasons, but they will have to take precautions if they have contact with patients (e.g., wear masks).
Hopefully implementation of this new law will aid in preventing the spread of vaccine-preventable diseases and help improve patient health and safety.
More information can be found in the August 2012 issue of Texas Medicine:
Code, C. Lifesaving Shots. Texas Medicine. August 2012.