2009 Flu Vaccine Update
MNA appreciates the efforts of healthcare employers who are offering Influenza Vaccines to nurses and other healthcare workers. MNA encourage members and others to avail themselves of the vaccines understanding as with any decision it is important to learn about the vaccines and make informed choices.
As we enter the influenza season we want to update MNA members as to Massachusetts Department of Health – EMERGENCY REGULATIONS – INFLUENZA VACCINATION OF EMPLOYEES AT HOSPITALS, recently issued, which are relevant to both seasonal influenza as well as H1N1. See www.mass.gov/dph or visit:
These regulations are NOT a mandatory vaccine requirement, they are a mandatory requirement that employers educate employees, offer flu vaccine and maintain records of employees receiving the vaccine or informed decline of the vaccine.
This is an emergency regulation which is in effect for 90 days. Subsequent regulations would likely be promulgated after the 90 days and may have changes. We will continue to monitor the progress and update the members.
This year, DPH does require signed Declination Forms but does NOT require that you provide a reason for declining. The DPH promulgated declination form is attached.
Additionally we are raising concern of DPH regarding the inclusion of the form into the “employee personnel record”. We will indicate that this should be altered to state the employee “confidential medical record” to assure privacy. (This is consistent with other vaccinations such as Hepatitis B.)
You may also be aware that legislation has been filed by Representative Peter Koutoujian - HB2100 (HD1934) of the 2009-2010 Session, An Act providing for the prevention of influenza in health care workers and high risk patients. This bill is being heard on 9/22/09. MNA Congresses are currently reviewing the legislation and the MNA Board of Directors will address the legislation at their meeting on 09/17/09.