A bill that would require all health care workers in health care facilities, including physicians, to either receive the influenza vaccination or wear a mask in patient care areas during flu season, passed the state Senate today by a vote of 23 to 9.
The bill, SB 1318, is cosponsored by the California Medical Association (CMA). Other sponsors include the Health Officers Association of California and the California Association of Nurse Practitioners.
In California, several counties (Sacramento, Yolo and San Francisco) and numerous hospitals have gone beyond state law and have already instituted mandatory vaccination policies that include a masking requirement for the unvaccinated. The California hospitals with the highest vaccine compliance rate are those that have such policies in place.
“SB 1318 has passed out of two policy committees and now, through a full Senate vote with bipartisan support,” says CMA President James T. Hay, M.D. “We know that higher vaccination levels among staff have been associated with a lower risk of hospital-acquired influenza cases. SB 1318 will help to keep the numbers of hospital-acquired flu fatalities low. CMA applauds the California Senate for seeing this bill through.”
The bill now heads to the Assembly.
“This bill is an example of good public health,” adds Dr. Hay. “We look forward to working with our partners in medicine and the California Assembly in the coming weeks.”
Contact: Ryan Spencer, (916) 551-2878 or firstname.lastname@example.org.