The widespread flu reports are a harsh reminder of the importance of influenza vaccines. This is particularly true for healthcare workers, says Elizabeth Sepper, JD, health law expert and professor of law at Washington University in St. Louis. “One-third of healthcare providers fail to protect themselves, their patients, and the public from influenza.”
Sepper says that it is time for a national flu vaccine mandate for healthcare workers.
“Regulation ensures patients don’t have to rely on the goodwill of particular institutions or providers,” says Sepper, who is also a faculty scholar in WUSTL’s Institute for Public Health. “It also avoids the model of employer coercion of employees, and establishes vaccination as a professional obligation. “
Sepper’s related comments are published in the Harvard Law Bill of Health blog: http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/billofhealth/2013/01/18/flu-vaccine-myths-and-healthcare-providers/