DHHS requiring flu shots for all healthcare workers

August 23, 2013 3:27:44 PM PDT
A new flu shot policy has been put in place for state healthcare workers. All of them will now be required to get an annual flu shot.

State health officials say they did it for the good of the workers, the patients and ultimately taxpayers.

The department runs 14 health facilities across the state.

Being treated by people vaccinated against the flu seemed like a logical move to state officials who say requiring flu shots will also help protect those providing the health care. Fewer sick days for them could save taxpayer dollars.

However, it's not like this is something the state is pioneering.

"There's many, many hospitals, medical centers and medical schools that are requiring this throughout North Carolina.," said Luckey Welsh, with DHHS. "There must be 50 or 60 hospitals in the state that are requiring their employees to be vaccinated."

So can you force an employee to get a flu shot? Not if they have a medical or religious reason not to get one.

However, in that case, the state says they will need documentation and the employee will have to wear a mask at work.

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