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County Mandates Flu Shot for Health Workers

All health workers in Contra Costa County will be required to get a flu shot this season or wear a protective mask while working.

By Bay City News Service:

Health care workers in Contra Costa County will have to "practice
what we preach" beginning this flu season, county health officials said
Monday.

Dr. William Walker, health officer for Contra Costa County, has
mandated that all health care workers in the county receive the annual flu
vaccination or wear a mask while working.

"As health care providers, we need to practice what we preach,"
Walker said in a release. "We always urge the public to get their flu shots
every year and for good reason. If doctors and nurses aren't bothering to get
immunized, we're not only sending a contradictory message to the public,
we're endangering our patients."

Walker continued to say that patient safety was at stake and the
vaccination rates of health care workers were too low.

According to the California Department of Public Health, the
employee vaccination rates in Contra Costa County range between 44 to 72
percent in 2010-11.

The flu is contagious up to one day prior to symptoms appearing
and can be especially dangerous to young children, the elderly, pregnant
women, and those with chronic conditions, according to Walker.

The requirement will go into effect during the coming flu season
from Nov. 1 to Mar. 31 and will continue in future flu seasons, officials
said.

Contra Costa County's announcement of this follows similar
mandates in several counties in California, including San Francisco, Santa
Clara, and Sacramento counties.

Joseph Catindig September 12, 2012 at 01:31 AM
how about you discuss with us the well documented side effects of some of these vaccines being used out there Doc!
Joseph Catindig September 12, 2012 at 01:48 AM
leech on brother!
Ian Lipnicky (still a SportsFan) September 12, 2012 at 02:09 AM
Marian - thanks for the concern. Aren't you sweet. Bless your heart.
Toni Leance September 12, 2012 at 02:26 AM
Reddick you are an idiot
lovelafayette September 13, 2012 at 06:12 AM
A mask on a health care provider in a doctors office is to protect the health care provider from the patient's germs.In surgery the mask is to protect the patient from the providers germs. It would make more sense to require patients to wear a mask TO the office when they have a cough, fever or rash. Masking an unvaccinated health care worker 100% of the day makes for an unpleasant work environment, is a waste of resources, will diminish the quality of the conversation and dialogue, and offers no extra benefit to the patient if the provider is well. You COULD make it illegal to come to work in a health care facility with a cough or fever or rash, that would prevent transmission. I want to know what percentage of patients vs providers are vaccinated, and the rates of influenza in health care workers. I am not convinced that doctors offices in the USA are a major transmitter of flu. We stay home if sick, constantly boost our immunity via exposures, mask sick patients, wear gloves and mask ourselves with sick patients, wash our hands frequently, use disinfectants frequently...Vaccinated or unvaccinated we are less likely than the average joe to spread flu. I do not feel that there is enough potential benefit to the patient for the county to impose this rule on my employees, for me to enforce! The county should conduct free flu vaccination clinics in the workplace if they want to increase vaccination rates.

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