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Should CNAs Be Mandated to Get The Flu Shot

CNAs are prime targets for mandatory flu vaccination because they must maintain good health while they assist the ill and elderly. The idea of susceptible individuals, such as the elderly, ending up infected by healthcare workers has spawned mandatory vaccination policies in several hospitals and healthcare facilities.

A majority of CNAs work with adults who are elderly.  According to the Centers for Disease Control adults over 65 are particularly vulnerable to the flu and its complications.  In the U.S., about 9 out of 10 flu-related deaths occur in adults over 65.

Mandating a flu vaccination policy has caused some controversy. Many healthcare workers feel their rights are being violated and that they do not like being told what to do concerning their own bodies. Hospitals look at it from the perspective that they are increasing worker productivity by decreasing the amount of call-ins and protecting patients from getting the flu.

State and federal health officials said that it's important for healthcare workers to get immunized because their jobs put them in a position to spread the virus to large amounts of patients. Furthermore, nursing facilities and hospitals need them to stay well during the busy flu season.

There are logical reasons why a CNA may be unable to receive the flu Vaccination

According to the Centers for Disease Control some people should not get the inactivated influenza vaccine or should wait.

  • If you have any severe, life-threatening allergies. Such as those with a life-threatening allergic reaction after a dose of flu vaccine, a severe allergy to any part of this vaccine, including (for example) an allergy to gelatin, antibiotics, or eggs, you will be advised not to get vaccinated. However, not all types but most of flu vaccine contain a small amount of egg protein.
  • If you ever had Guillain-Barré Syndrome (a severe paralyzing illness, also called GBS). Individuals with a history of GBS should not get this vaccine. This is something with you will need to tale to your doctor about.
  • If you are not feeling well. It is usually okay to get flu vaccine when you have a mild illness, although you might be advised to wait until you feel well. Individuals should return when you are better.

The CDC reports findings that vaccines among the health care work force help reduce patient fatalities and aims to have 90% compliance for health care employees by 2020. In several states, the individual hospitals set the policies.