Mandatory flu vax proposed for healthcare workers

The Australian-based Influenza Specialist Group (ISG) said last week that with flu season approaching it was time for the government to play a bigger role in ensuring all health workers – particularly those who work close to patients – get their jabs.

This would include introducing mandatory vaccinations for staff working in direct hospital care, in emergency departments, or working with cancer patients. 

ISG also proposed rules that would force hospital staff who refuse vaccinations to sign statutory declarations explaining why, and to be moved to non-clinical areas.

“Hospital based healthcare workers, at the moment their uptake is much lower than community based healthcare workers,” University of NSW senior research fellow and ISG member Dr Holly Seale (PhD) told MO.

“Many of them don’t recognise the need... [or] don’t feel that they are at risk; they also hold a lot of misconceptions about