Vaccinating the Health-Care Workforce: State Law vs. Institutional Requirements (READ)
At the state level, the legal authority to require immunization rests on states’ 10th Amendment “police powers,” which can be used to effectively convert public health recommendations into legally enforceable obligations. States can exercise this power directly or delegate their powers to local governments.
Of equally great importance is the role of the federal government. It is the case that the direct regulation of the public’s health is a traditional state function under the 10th Amendment. At the same time, the federal government has enormous powers under the Commerce Clause and the Spending Clause to both attach conditions of participation to federally funded programs as well as to regulate economic activity,31 of which health care is viewed as a preeminent example. To this end, federal conditions of participation for the Medicare and Medicaid programs, which currently do not address the immunization status of the health-care workforce, offer another potential basis for establishing minimum safeguards against the transmission of disease in health-care settings, in particular settings in which sick patients reside, such as nursing homes and hospitals.
Some facilities have instituted mandatory employee influenza vaccination programs,9 and one state (NY) has promulgated regulations making seasonal and H1N1 influenza vaccination mandatory.10 However this is being challenged.
VLA comment: Thursday, Sept. 12, 2015 the California legislator passed another first in the nation bill, SB 792. It is a very dangerous precedent. It is the first in the nation that government mandates vaccination to private industry. This follows on the heels of SB 277 which has been signed into law. SB277 prohibits a child to attend private, public or pre school without being fully vaccinated (at this time….49 vaccine doses by the age of six). Unvaccinated children must homeschool. Homeschool can not be a classroom setting.