In a recently released position paper, APIC—the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology—has recommended mandatory influenza immunization as a condition of employment within healthcare facilities.
Titled “Influenza Vaccination Should Be a Condition of Employment for Healthcare Personnel, Unless Medically Contraindicated,” the paper targets acute care hospitals, long-term care facilities, and other providers that employ healthcare personnel.
Influenza results in an estimated 150,000 hospital admissions and 24,000 deaths annually, according to APIC.
“We took a firmer stance on this issue because it is clear that voluntary efforts are not working,” said Linda R. Greene, RN, MPS, CIC, lead author of APIC’s position paper. “Several studies now demonstrate that influenza vaccination of healthcare personnel reduces patient mortality. As infection preventionists, we have an ethical responsibility to protect those individuals entrusted to our care.”
The APIC paper states that this requirement should be part of a comprehensive strategy incorporating all of the recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Healthcare Infection Control Practices Advisory Committee and the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices for influenza vaccination of healthcare workers.