North Carolina state government's 10,000 employees at public mental hospitals, substance abuse treatment centers and other facilities for people with disabilities will have to get flu vaccinations by Dec. 1.
The new mandatory policy announced by Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Aldona Wos (vahsh) also applies to volunteers at the 14 state-operated health care facilities. Flu vaccinations have been voluntary.
Wos called the decision responsible, pointing out it follows what more than 50 hospitals and health system in the state require. Wos says the requirement will create a safer environment for patients and staff. She says patients and residents are at high risk for flu-related complications.
Work-site vaccination clinics will be held in the fall. Workers covered by the state employee health insurance plan get the shot for free.