The Department of Defense (DoD) properly requires that all its health care providers be vaccinated against influenza. This not only greatly reduces risk of their being infected, but also prevents their inadvertently infecting those they care for and come in contact. Thus the DoD hospitals' staff herd immunity benefits the rest of the population. However, those providers who provide taxpayer-supported programs are not under any uniform mandate to be vaccinated. They can thus become infected and may be contributing to the ~36,000 routine annual influenza deaths in the US each year. The primary directive for physicians is to "Do No Harm". Without assurance that their health care provider is vaccinated against the flu means that patients whose immune systems are weakend, and whose immunity is not assured by vaccination, are indeed subject to being harmed by their taxpayer-supported providers. Mandating the vaccination agaisnt influenza could theoretically save tens of millions of dollars in health care cost each year, not to mention providing benefits for families.
Idea No. 6033