On a daily basis, health care workers are exposed to a vulnerable population such as seniors, young children, and others with certain health conditions who may have depressed immune systems and cannot afford to catch the flu. The best way to ensure this does not happen is to have every health care worker vaccinated for the flu. Health care workers who get vaccinated reduce the transmission of influenza, staff illness and absenteeism, and influenza-related illness and death, especially among people at increased risk for severe influenza illness.
Unfortunately, despite the benefits, many health care workers still voluntarily go unvaccinated. During the 2010-2011 influenza season coverage for influenza vaccination among health care workers was estimated at 63.5 percent. However, those health facilities that had vaccination requirements in place required their health care workers to be vaccinated had a compliance rate at 98.1 percent. This discrepancy shows the great success of the required flu vaccination programs; programs that should be emulated.
SB 1318 requires all health facilities and clinics to implement measures, including vaccine education programs, to help maximize influenza vaccination rates among their healthcare workers and medical staff. Workers who decline the vaccine will be required to declare in writing that they will adhere to the policy determined by the health facility or clinic to be the most effective measures to prevent workers from contracting or transmitting the virus.
Beginning January 1, 2015, any facility or clinic that fails to achieve a 90 percent or higher influenza immunization rate will be required to adopt the model "mandatory vaccination policy' determined by the California Department of Public Health to be the most effective in achieving the 90 percent or higher goal. This policy would remain in effect during any influenza season that follows a year that the health facility, clinic, or outpatient setting fails to record a vaccination rate of 90 percent or higher.
On a daily basis, health care workers are exposed to a vulnerable population such as seniors, young children, and others with weakened immune systems and cannot afford to catch the flu. One of the best ways to protect these patients is ensure every health care worker is vaccinated for the flu. SB 1318 requires all health facilities and clinic to implement measures to help maximize influenza vaccination rates among their healthcare workers and medical staff. If a facility
or clinic still has less than 90% of their staff unvaccinated after January 1, 2015, they would be required to adopt a mandatory vaccination policy that has been developed by the CDPH, in collaboration with local health officers.