Flu panel says: Mandate shots

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An advisory panel to the White House is recommending providers mandate annual employee flu shots if voluntary programs do not achieve at least 90% compliance.

Providers should “strongly consider” a mandate, said the National Vaccine Advisory Committee in a report to the Department of Health and Human Services, which is now considering the recommendation.

Long-term care providers oppose the idea.

“It's difficult to support mandatory vaccinations at the present. One reason is costs and what type of financial burdens might exist,” Greg Crist, vice president of public affairs at the American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living, told McKnight's. “On a personal level, some staff may have objections for religious or cultural beliefs.”

Other providers, such as the American Hospital Association, are on board with an employee vaccination push. The AHA Board of Trustees approved a policy calling for, among other things, employees to get flu vaccines or otherwise wear a facemask during the flu season.
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