HHS ad­vi­sory panel urges stronger flu vac­cine pol­icy

Modern Healthcare - - LATE NEWS -

HHS’ Na­tional Vac­cine Ad­vi­sory Com­mit­tee ap­proved a rec­om­men­da­tion that health­care em­ploy­ers that haven’t achieved 90% in­fluenza vac­ci­na­tion com­pli­ance af­ter fol­low­ing other rec­om­men­da­tions to boost flu vac­ci­na­tion rates “strongly con­sider” an em­ployee re­quire­ment for flu vac­ci­na­tion. Along with four other re­lated rec­om­men­da­tions, the vac­cine com­mit­tee also urged the as­sis­tant sec­re­tary for health at HHS, Dr. Howard Koh, to en­sure that the rec­om­men­da­tion be im­ple­mented in HHS fa­cil­i­ties and ser­vices, in­clud­ing the U.S. Public Health Ser­vice Com­mis­sioned Corps, HHS staff who are health­care em­ploy­ees and at fed­er­ally qual­i­fied health cen­ters. The com­mit­tee re­leased the rec­om­men­da­tions for com­ment in De­cem­ber and now has for­mally ap­proved them for pre­sen­ta­tion to Koh, who is free to act or not act upon them, ac­cord­ing to a spokes­woman for the as­sis­tant sec­re­tary. The other rec­om­men­da­tions in­cluded one that health­care em­ploy­ers es­tab­lish com­pre­hen­sive flu in­fec­tion preven­tion pro­grams and one that the Cen­ters for Dis­ease Con­trol and Preven­tion and the CMS con­tinue to try to stan­dard­ize the meth­ods used to mea­sure vac­ci­na­tion rates. Other groups have voiced sup­port for health­care worker vac­ci­na­tion re­quire­ments, in­clud­ing the Na­tional Busi­ness Group on Health and the Amer­i­can Hospi­tal As­so­ci­a­tion.

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