Tuesday, July 28, 2009

New York Proposes Mandatory Vaccinations for Health Care Workers

Barbara Benson
Crain’s New York Business
July 27, 2009

The state Department of Health is proposing mandatory flu vaccines for all health care workers in the state. The new rule would apply not just to staff, but to anyone who potentially comes into direct contact with patients. That includes contract workers, students and volunteers.

The proposal, which is still in draft form, would apply to everyone working in hospitals, diagnostic and treatment centers, certified home health agencies, long-term home health care programs, AIDS home care programs, licensed home care services agencies, and hospices. A separate rule is pending in the Legislature that applies to nursing home workers.

The state health department’s move is an acknowledgment that voluntary flu vaccination efforts don’t work. But it wasn’t clear if the regulation would be implemented before any vaccination for the H1N1 flu virus is manufactured.

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