Health Care Workers Not Required to Get Flu Vaccine
Local hospitals recommend it, but the vaccine is not required
Omaha, NE - In Nebraska, health professionals treating the sickest patients, may not be vaccinated against the flu.
"There is no statewide or nationwide mandate to have healthcare workers vaccinated," Dr. Mark Rupp said.
Health care agencies are at odds about whether to make the vaccine mandatory for all health care workers. The Center for Disease Control suggests everyone six months or older get vaccinated.
"OSHA has recently come off with a statement saying that they don't fully support vaccinations for health care providers so you have these disparate groups within the federal government for instance giving you a little bit different input so I don't think we're gonna see a federal mandate for this."
Dr. Rupp says 90% of the Nebraska Medical Center's staff got vaccinated this year.
Over at Children's Hosptial it is required for some 2,000 employees. "Just for patient and employee safety in addition now the CDC is requiring that of health care, but we started in 2009 as an initiative for our employees," Suzanne Nocita said.
Nebraska Medical Center employee Laura Buzenski says health care workers have a right to choose whether or not they want the vaccine. She got it, but believes employees should be able to make the decision for themselves. "As long as measures are being taken so that you can still protect those patients so things like gowns and gloves, things like that I think there are ways we can still prevent and help in the aid of patients while still being able to make our own choices," Laura Buzenski said.