August 18, 2017
FLU VACCINES FOR HEALTHCARE WORKERS

WHEREAS, OPEIU Nurse Council supports flu prevention for patients and the general public; and

WHEREAS, nurses and other healthcare workers have a duty and a right to protect patients. Recent evidence shows mandatory flu vaccinations and masking policies fail these tests; and

WHEREAS, flu vaccination policies requiring healthcare workers to be vaccinated have proliferated since the Virginia Mason case in 2004; and

WHEREAS, such policies vary greatly from locale to locale; and

WHEREAS, mandatory flu vaccinations as a condition of employment is unfair to healthcare workers; and

WHEREAS, many employers have implemented religious exemptions to mandatory flu vaccination for their healthcare workers; and

WHEREAS, many of those religious exemptions are vague and inconsistent with federal discrimination laws; and

WHEREAS, the billion dollar pharmaceutical companies who provide flu vaccinations are lobbying Congress for a national policy requiring flu vaccination for healthcare workers; and

WHEREAS, Medicare reimbursement rates may be effected by the number of healthcare workers who are vaccinated at that healthcare facility; and

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the OPEIU 26th Convention commit itself to lobby for legislation requiring employers to educate their healthcare
workers as to the benefits and limitations of flu vaccination and for healthcare employers to implement effective infection control to prevent the spread of flu without mandatory flu vaccination for employees.