FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) – updated to 13 May 2013

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
Below is a listing of theme areas and specific questions addressed in the FAQ. Also listed are three bibliographies with articles of potential interest to enrich the evidence base of the FAQ overall.

General
What is the current state of debate in the peer-reviewed literature on HCP influenza vaccination and mandates?

What is the current situation regarding mandated or required seasonal influenza vaccination programs for HCP in the U.S.?

Which healthcare facilities in Pennsylvania require influenza vaccination for their HCP?

Which professional organizations currently endorse mandates or requirements for HCP seasonal influenza vaccination?

Ethical, Philosophical Considerations
Are there ethical arguments for mandatory immunization programs for HCPs?

Legal Considerations
What are the legal considerations around implementing and managing mandatory seasonal influenza vaccination programs for HCPs?

Do patients have a right to insist on receiving care only from HCPs who are immunized against influenza?

Should religious, philosophical or assertions of constitutional exemptions be part of mandatory program design?

Legislation
Why isn’t there a federal mandate?

Why isn’t there a Pennsylvania state/commonwealth mandate?  What are other states doing regarding HCP influenza vaccine mandates?

Program Design, Approval, Implementation
Where can we find case studies or examples of other programs to help us design a universal flu immunization program for our facility?

Are there examples of voluntary HCP influenza vaccination programs which actually achieve the 90% coverage target?

How do we get buy-in for a universal program from hospital executives?

What if a “mandated immunization” results in adverse side effects – what do you do (tracking side effects and compensation?

How should unionized or organized employee groups be factored into mandatory program design?

How do you manage the increased vaccine demand that comes with mandatory programs?

Where is technical assistance (TA) or consulting support available to help us design our program?

Mandatory Programs: Policies,  Enforcement
What can be done to enforce a mandatory policy to non-direct hospital physicians or contractors?

Are there effective strategies for controlling mandatory program “critics” and/or “vaccine-hesitant” employees, especially physicians?

Masking/ Hand Hygiene
What is the evidence base supporting masking as an effective preventive strategy for patient safety? Are such policies working where they have been implemented as part of mandated programs or otherwise?

Aerosols, Influenza Exposure, Patient Proximity
What is the evidence on influenza and other virus aerosols and how this informs safety in patient care environments – both in terms of HCP exposure and safety while providing care, and patient exposure from HCP and other workers in the patient care environment?

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