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Johns Hopkins flu expert calls for mandatory vaccination of health care workers

e populations. Vaccination should be presented as such to both health care workers and every hospital's leadership."

Perl notes that even without mandatory vaccination policies, other potential barriers to widespread vaccination can be helpful and should be implemented nationwide. Among her recommendations are free shots for all staff, easy access to flu shot clinics on site, flexible vaccination hours, emphasis on patient safety aspects of the program, education to counter beliefs that the shots can make you sick and encouragement from hospital leaders to get the vaccine.

The next step, Perl says, is for health care professional associations, such as the Infectious Disease Society of America and the U.S. Joint Commission of Accreditation on Healthcare Organizations, to endorse mandatory flu shots. One group, the Society for Health Care Epidemiology, last month endorsed just such a plan. However, she acknowledges that current federal workers' rights prevent employers from making vaccinations a requirement.

Perl says her proposal is open to discussion at Hopkins. "Ultimately, we want to make vaccination as mandatory for workers as the law allows in order to effectively accomplish what we cannot enforce," she says.


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Source:Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions


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