When is voluntary compliance not enough?
The Infectious Disease Society of America, the Society of Heatlhcare Epidemiology of America, and the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society have collectively endorsed recommendations made by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) concerning universal immunization of health care workers.
The joint statement issued December, 2013, called for voluntary immunization programs to be discontinued in favor of mandates when compliance falls below 90%. ACIP further recommends that healthcare workers provide "documentation of receipt of ACIP-recomended vaccinations as a condition of employment, unpaid service, or receipt of professional privileges." Full text of the joint statement can be found with the link below.
Mandated vaccine against seasonal influenza has been hotly debated for several years (see Mandate the Shot or Not). While this debate continues to grind on there has been little attention given to the non-pharmacologic strategies that go hand-in-hand with vaccinations.
Pharmaceutical shortages have occurred and are certain to play a role in vaccine production in the future. Requirement or not, if vaccine is not available, you won't get it. What about when no vaccine has been created to fight a given pathogen? To both situations healthcare workers should turn to personal protective equipment to help prevent the spread of disease (see Best Disease Prevention is Action).
Scheduling your mandated vaccines for you http://t.co/MVYgI6QbJ5
— Rick Russotti (@RickRussotti) December 15, 2013