Hospitals to Require Worker Flu Shots

Source: Boston Globe

By: Lazar, Kay


All employees who are in contact with patients at Boston's two biggest teaching hospitals--Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Children's Hospital Boston--must abide by new rules that will require them to be vaccinated against the flu, or they will be suspended or even terminated. The facilities are part of the 10-hospital Eastern Massachusetts Healthcare Initiative, which pledged in July to create mandatory vaccination policies for healthcare personnel as a means of improving patient safety and ensuring that health care workers do not fall ill in the event of an outbreak. The state reported that only 68 percent of healthcare workers received the flu vaccine during the 2009-2010 season. At Beth Israel Deaconess, Dr. Kenneth Sands, senior vice president for health care quality, says medical exemptions will be granted for documented medical problems and religious exemptions will be granted on a case-by-case basis.