Home Insect Allergies Flu Vaccine Mandates Surge in US Hospitals, Examine Finds

Flu Vaccine Mandates Surge in US Hospitals, Examine Finds

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RT’s Three Key Takeaways:

  1. Elevated Flu Vaccination Mandates: The research reveals that 74% of non-VA hospitals and 96% of VA hospitals now require staff to get flu vaccines, reflecting a major rise in mandates geared toward enhancing affected person and workers security.
  2. Masks Necessities for Unvaccinated Workers: 81% of non-VA hospitals require unvaccinated staff to put on masks round sufferers throughout flu season.
  3. Influence of VA Directive and COVID-19: The 2020 Veterans Well being Administration directive mandating flu vaccinations or waivers has had a large impression, in line with researchers, with a notable enhance in compliance amongst VA hospitals. Moreover, the COVID-19 pandemic has influenced non-VA hospitals to undertake stricter flu vaccination insurance policies.

A brand new research means that extra hospitals than ever would require staff to get vaccinated in opposition to the flu, or search an exemption.

The brand new research exhibits that 74% of hospitals serving most of the people—and 96% of US hospitals that serve veterans—now require workers to get vaccinated.

One other 23% of non-Veterans Administration (VA) hospitals strongly encourage however don’t require flu vaccination. Whether or not or not they’ve a mandate, 81% of non-VA hospitals require unvaccinated employees to put on a masks round sufferers throughout flu season.

Revealed in JAMA Community Open, the research was accomplished by a crew from the College of Michigan and VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System that has surveyed hospitals on this matter since 2013.

Influence of VA Directive and COVID-19

Their newest survey reveals the “large” impression of a 2020 Veterans Well being Administration directive to require flu vaccination or waivers for the primary time.

In 2013, just one% of VA hospitals had such a mandate; the share rose barely to 4% by 2017. In the meantime, flu vaccination or a waiver was required by 43% of non-VA hospitals in 2013, rising to almost 70% in 2017.

“Our findings present the impression of one of many largest well being care programs in the US taking a stand and placing a coverage in place that’s primarily based in a bedrock moral precept of drugs: Do no hurt,” says Todd Greene, PhD, MPH, lead writer of the brand new research and a affected person security researcher at VAAAHS and Michigan Medication, U-M’s educational medical heart. “Along with the VA nationwide directive, it’s attention-grabbing to see how the COVID-19 period influenced flu vaccine necessities at non-VA hospitals.”

He and his colleagues, together with senior writer Sanjay Saint, MD, MPH, despatched surveys to a nationwide pattern of hospitals beginning in April 2021 and acquired replies from 405 non-VA hospitals offering normal medical and surgical care, and 66 VA hospitals.

Exemptions and Penalties

Along with asking about mandates and masks necessities, they requested hospitals which have a mandate to share what kinds of exemptions are permitted. Nearly all VA and non-VA hospitals allowed for medical exemptions, whereas there was a distinction for non secular exemptions, with 82% of non-VA and 95% of VA hospitals permitting these. A really small minority of hospitals (6% of non-VA hospitals and a pair of% of VA hospitals) allowed waivers to be granted with out a particular purpose.

On the time of the survey, which started on the finish of the primary flu season after the VHA directive, solely 33% of VA hospitals with a mandate mentioned that they had penalties in place for workers who didn’t get vaccinated or pursue a waiver. By comparability, 74% of the non-VA hospitals with mandates had such penalties in place.

Declining Vaccination Charges

Greene notes that surveys of American well being care employees present that flu vaccination percentages have dropped over time, from 91% in the course of the 2019-2020 season to 81% by the 2022-2023 season. These percentages embrace well being care employees who work in any setting, not simply hospitals and well being programs similar to these surveyed for the brand new research.

“There’ll at all times be vaccine hesitancy and issues about bodily autonomy amongst well being care employees, and seasonal flu vaccine effectiveness is variable,” Greene says in a launch. “However for individuals working within the care setting, the advantages of getting vaccinated will usually outweigh any potential dangers.”

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