State to require yearly flu vaccination for health care workers
August 15. 2014 9:17AM
Gov. Dennis Daugaard has signed an executive order requiring annual flu vaccination for state employees who deliver health care services. The order goes into effect for the 2014-15 flu season and requires vaccination by Dec. 1.
“State employees providing health care serve those who are most at risk for complications from the flu,” said Gov. Daugaard. “Ensuring those state employees are vaccinated is vital to protecting vulnerable populations from the flu as well as preventing spread of the disease to critical health care personnel.”
The Governor noted that many health care facilities and systems across the county already require flu vaccination for their workers, including Avera Health, Regional Health and Sanford Health.
The order requires flu vaccination for all state employees who provide direct health care services, have regular contact with vulnerable populations, or have a role in responding to disease outbreaks. The requirement also applies to contract staff, vendors, students, supervising faculty, or volunteers who provide services in state institutions and offices.
Individuals who have a documented medical contraindication to the vaccine or who adhere to a religious doctrine opposed to immunizations are exempt. However, they will be required to take preventive measures such as masking when dealing with patients and clients.
“Mandatory flu vaccine for state employees providing health care is good public health policy that will significantly advance the yearly effort to prevent flu-related illness and death,” said the Governor. “It’s important for us to lead by example as we encourage all health care facilities to take the step of requiring flu vaccination for their employees.”
South Dakota provides influenza vaccine free-of-charge to state employees