Health-care associated influenza outbreaks are a common and serious public health problem that contribute significantly to patient morbidity and mortality and create a financial burden on health care systems. In a new policy statement, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that all health care personnel should be required to receive an annual influenza vaccine. The policy, "Recommendation for Mandatory Influenza Immunization of All Health Care Personnel," published in the October 2010 print issue of Pediatrics (published online Sept. 13), states that "despite the efforts of many organizations to improve influenza immunization rates with the use of voluntary campaigns, influenza coverage among health care personnel remains unacceptably low." Annual influenza epidemics account for 610 660 life-years lost, 3.1 million days of hospitalization, and 31.4 million outpatient visits. Flu generates a cost burden of approximately $87 billion per year in the United States. Mandatory influenza immunization for all health care personnel is "ethically justified, necessary and long overdue to ensure patient safety," according to the statement. The influenza vaccine is safe, effective, and cost-effective, so health care organizations must work to assuage common fears and misconceptions about the influenza virus and the vaccine.
Friday, September 10, 2010
American Academy of Pediatrics Recommends Mandatory Flu Vaccines for All Health Care Workers
I'm glad that I'm not a health care worker. I wonder what the odds are that the Federal government or one or more of the States will impose mandatory vaccinations on its citizens. At that point, there will be a serious conflict between the government's argument of a compelling state interest against a person's individual liberty to refuse a vaccine.
The mandatory vaccinations will start with the health care workers, teachers, students and TSA airport agents. If the mandatory vaccination campaign is successful in those areas, then the government will expand the program to other areas until vaccinations are constructively mandatory.
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