Bill to improve public health passes with a 23-9 vote
Sacramento – SB 1318 (Wolk), which 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 off of the Senate Floor today. The bill is cosponsored by the California Medical Association (CMA).
“SB 1318 has passed out of two policy committees and now, through a full Senate vote with bipartisan support,” said James T. Hay, M.D., CMA President. “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.”
Influenza (the flu) is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses. It can cause mild to severe illness and, at times, can lead to death. Some people, such as seniors, young children and those with certain health conditions, are at high risk for serious flu complications.
In California, several counties (Sacramento, Yolo and San Francisco) and numerous hospitals have gone beyond state law and 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.
“This bill is an example of good public health,” added Dr. Hay. “We look forward to working with our partners in medicine and the California Assembly in the coming weeks.”