August 30, 2009
[efoods]ALBANY — Workers at Capital Region hospitals are going to have to get a flu shot this year or face losing their jobs.
The requirement is part of a new emergency regulation adopted earlier this month by the State Hospital Review and Planning Council that requires that all hospital workers get the flu vaccine — and that it be a requirement for employment.
Hospitals are quickly trying to assemble new workplace policies to comply with the regulation, and those that have been put in place threaten disciplinary action and even termination if workers, from janitors and food service workers to doctors and nurses, refuse to get the shots. The policy affects about 25,000 people in the region.
Albany Medical Center, the region’s leading hospital, sent out announcements to workers earlier this week saying employees had to get flu shots by Oct. 16. Spokesman Gregory McGarry said the hospital may take “corrective action” against employees if they don’t comply, although he declined to get into specifics about what type of penalties they would face.