Added William Schaffner, MD, past president of the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases: "We think very strongly about this. I believe that the immunization of the healthcare provider community, writ large, is both an ethical and a professional responsibility of those healthcare workers."
There are two reasons, Schaffner says. "The first and most important is that it's a patient safety issue, so that we do not transmit our influenza infection to our patients. The other reason is that when influenza strikes, we need to be vertical, not horizontal."
A CDC official, responding to an email query, wrote "Hospitals will be asked to report vaccinations received by healthcare personnel at the facility, vaccinations received outside the facility, medical contraindications, and declinations.
"Data must be reported for all payroll employees, licensed independent practitioners (who are physicians, advanced practice nurses, and physician assistants affiliated with the hospital but not on payroll), and students, trainees, and volunteers age 18 or older," for employees who worked at the facility at least 30 days between Oct. 1, 2012 and March 31, 2013.