… The NVAC’s recommendations urge US hospitals to establish comprehensive infection control programs that include education on how to prevent flu transmission and integrate flu vaccination programs into existing flu prevention and occupational health programs. The recommendations also press federal health officials to continue efforts to standardize methods on how to measure healthcare worker flu vaccination rates.
If those three steps don’t push the healthcare worker vaccination levels to the national goal, NVAC suggests that healthcare employers strongly consider mandatory flu vaccination policies. A fifth recommendation calls for new and better flu vaccines…
… Among other groups supporting the proposal there were Consumer Reports and the American Hospital Association. Dr. Don Wright, deputy assistant secretary for health care quality at the Department of Health and Human Services, said at the briefing that the agency will be publishing data by next year on hospitals that have vaccinated employees as part of their efforts to reduce hospital-acquired infections.
… Even within the government, there are conflicting views. In a letter to the National Vaccine Program Office last month, Jordan Barab, deputy assistant secretary for the Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration, said his organization supports the goal of the HHS’ Healthy People 2020 initiative to get 90 percent of health care personnel vaccinated. But “we are troubled that some have tried to convert the goal into a mandate,” he wrote.
… Hospitals that report their employee vaccination data will receive a bonus payment, Wright said, and already well over 95 percent of hospitals are doing that. Wright said in an interview later that HHS is not “endorsing any one method [of boosting vaccination rates] over another. Our goal is to get the rate of vaccinations up, so the jury is still out on the best way to do that.”