Local News

Flu shot now required for state health care workers

Posted August 23, 2013

State officials said Friday they are implementing a new policy that requires mandatory flu vaccinations for 10,000 employees and volunteers who work in state-run health care facilities across North Carolina.

The vaccinations, aimed at curbing the spread of flu and protecting vulnerable patients, must be done by Dec. 1, under the policy.

"Because many of the patients and residents in our state facilities are at high risk for complications from flu, this is a responsible decision that will create a safer environment for our patients and staff,” state Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Aldona Wos said in a statement.

According to DHHS spokesperson, Julie Henry, "If a person is not medically able to be vaccinated or if they have a religious objection to being vaccinated, they can apply for an exemption to the vaccine. If they get an exemption, they may be asked to wear a mask when they are around patients or in patient care areas during flu season.”

A person must have documentation from their church to qualify for the religious exemption. If an employee does not meet the exemptions and refuses to get a vaccination, that person can be dismissed. 

According to Wos, 52 hospitals and health systems have already complied with the policy.

The department will hold vaccination clinics for employees throughout the fall. Employees will receive the vaccine at no charge through the State Health Plan.

"Anything we can do to help ensure a safer environment for them, is a positive for us," said Henry.




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  • cdayries Aug 27, 2013

    The assumption is that people with flu shots are safer to be around. What if the strain's wrong? What if a vaccinated person sheds the virus as people do after getting that nasal spray?? What if the vaccine taxes the immune system with all its mercury and aluminum so that the person will be more likely to come down with another disease? If flu's sooooooo dangerous then every hospital employee should be screened for hints of disease before going into the hospital or should be able to trade the shot for a mask. In fact, every doctor should wear a mask at all times just in case they have a virus that is not yet detected. Obviously disease isn't the main concern here LOL

  • cdayries Aug 27, 2013

    That's fine and all for them to implement policies that DON'T violate individual rights, but you should NOT have to get specific documentation from your church to take the religious exemption. It's discrimination against those with individual religious beliefs or who can't find a church with their particular denomination in their area. Every religious belief doesn't necessarily come from an institionalized father-figure. We should have individual rights in this country, yet, seems like here you only have individual rights if you find an authority figure that agrees with you -- i.e., a doctor with an authoritative license or a priest who has a position in an authoritative institution. what's wrong with an affidavit stating your individual religions beliefs?? Whatever, so to preserve individual rights, people must lie. They've forced you to by blatantly ignoring your occult natural rights. Just find a holistic doctor for a medical exemption or slip money to a priest.

  • FE Aug 23, 2013

    I'm really curious about the folks who post here and refuse mandatory health shots. Does this mean their own children do not attend public schools, where an inoculation record is a requirement for admission???

  • spunkyisbackagain Aug 23, 2013

    I'm aware that there are provisions made for those with legit medical and religious contradictions but why can't employees just say no?

    Especially if you go by the liberal logic of "my body, my right to do as I please". :) (Except of course when it comes to junk food.)

  • Barfly Aug 23, 2013

    Everlasting ignorance is the result of contempt prior to investigation. Most of these comments are based on fear mongering and ignorance.

    WRAL should try reporting a few facts along with the entire story behind this decision. Your loyal sheeples are outraged over nothing because this story is imcomplete. There are provisions made for those employees with legit medical and religious contradictions.

  • spunkyisbackagain Aug 23, 2013

    This is funny to me, because my understanding is that at one local state facility many of the workers came down with a strain of flu *not* covered by the flu shot.

    So tell me again why the flu shot should be forced upon people?

  • busyb97 Aug 23, 2013

    Seems dumb to me. You are vaccinating with LAST years strain. It won't affect your ability to fight of any NEW strains. most people would have likely already been exposed to the previous year anyway.

    How about- if you are sick, STAY HOME?

  • Kelv Aug 23, 2013

    We need more reporting on this as in who voted for this, more on what is in the flu shot, the history of vaccines like the polio one that was not effective the first go round (well documented in medical journals) and the called the second effective polio one a "booster."

  • og Aug 23, 2013

    Was this part of a legislative instruction contained in a bill passed and signed by the Governor? Or was it some regulatory mandate devised by some unelected bureaucrats who find mandates in nebulous clauses of old legislation that was never intended to give them the power they wield?

    Not that requiring immunizations is a bad idea, I'm just getting tired of some pencil-pushing pinheads telling me what to do because *they* think it's a good idea. We don't vote for those people and have no way of removing them from their positions if they do things we don't like.

  • annemarek Aug 23, 2013

    To require flu shots is silly. Flu shots are not any guarantee to prevent the flu. The shots are just a guess depending what was around the year or years before.
    Immunizations is another story.