Colorado considers mandatory flu shots for nursing home workers

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Officials from Colorado's state health department have proposed mandatory flu vaccinations for all nursing home employees, regardless of religious or personal exceptions.

The state's board of health, which will vote on the bill next month, considers hospitals and nursing homes to be “high-risk” medical facilities, the Denver Post reported. The bill would require high-risk facilities to meet targeted rates of employee vaccinations every year, with a goal of having 90% of employees vaccinated in the 2014-2015 flu season.

Individuals working in home health and assisted living facilities would have more wiggle room for personal and religious exemptions than those in nursing homes and hospitals, the Post reported. Exempt employees working in high-risk facilities would be required to wear face masks during flu season. The flu causes more than 600 deaths each year in Colorado, according to the state.

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