The concept of mandatory vaccination is a controversial topic in recent years. It is generally accepted that vaccinating HCWs against influenza reduces nosocomial transmission and decreases staff illness and absenteeism . Despite such assertions, the concept of mandatory HCW influenza vaccination remains under debate.Annual influenza vaccination was first recommended for health care workers (HCWs) by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices in 1984 . This paper seeks to briefly address whether HCWs are ethically obligated to accept influenza vaccination.Yes, the vaccine to protect against the 2009 H1N1 influenza virus will be the same for the entire 2009-2010 influenza season, which extends into the spring of 2010.The "2009" in the name only relates to the year the virus was first identified; it does not have to do with how long the vaccine will work or the year in which it should be administered.It was her opinion that the H1N1 vaccine had been hastily prepared without appropriate clinical testing.Moreover, it seemed to her that the policy had a certain lack of regard for autonomy that she found very worrisome.Studies at that time indicated that the risk for infection among people 65 and older was less than the risk for younger age groups so people 65 and older were not initially targeted to receive early doses of vaccine.
The committee further recommended that once the demand for vaccine for these target groups had been met at the local level, programs and providers should begin vaccinating everyone from ages 25 through 64 years.
focused global attention on pandemic prevention through vaccination.
As efforts to develop and deliver H1N1 vaccinations to health care workers (HCW) began, reluctance to accept vaccinations became apparent. Four nurses, the New York State Public Employees Federation, and the New York State United Teachers Union brought suit to halt the mandatory vaccination, which resulted in the issuance of a temporary restraining order.
She spoke to her departmental chairman to clarify the mandate and to express concern over the ethics and legality of such a policy. Ziad was informed that the policy stemmed from a September 2009 New York State mandate that all practicing physicians be vaccinated against both seasonal and H1N1 influenza .
He explained that the only exemption in this regulation was for cases of true medical contraindication.