KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

New York Health Workers Protest H1N1 Vaccine Mandate

The first doses of H1N1 vaccines are expected to be released this week and a controversy brews as health workers protest a flu vaccine mandate. CBS News reports that health care workers in New York's capital "vowed to fight an unprecedented order from state health officials: a requirement for every health care worker to get seasonal and H1N1 flu shots or face the possibility of being fired."

But the state maintains its goal is to "reduce the possibility of infecting patients. ... In past years, when vaccination was voluntary, only 40 percent of the state's 925,000 health care workers get vaccinated. ... While New York has the only state-wide mandate, a number of private and public hospitals are also requiring employees to take flu shots, including: the 273 facilities of the Hospital Corporation of America; Emory hospital in Atlanta; the University of Pennsylvania hospital; the University of Maryland hospital; and the Loyola University health system in Chicago. There is also a strong resistance from the general public. A new Harvard University poll shows only four in 10 adults intend to take the vaccine themselves. Only 6 in 10 plan to give it to their children" (10/4).

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