American Council on Science and Health supports mandatory healthcare vaccinations

The American Council on Science and Health recently came out in support of an editorial published in the British medical journal Lancet that promotes mandating flu vaccines for healthcare workers.

The article, written by Dr. Arthur Caplan, chair of the Department of Medical Ethics at the University of Pennsylvania, called the 50 percent vaccination rate among medical workers “dismal,” according to

The ASCH laments that no amount of coaxing or reasoning seems to convince more healthcare workers to be immunized.

“[E]very code of ethics adopted by physicians, nurses, nurses’ aides, social workers, pharmacists, and other health-care professionals states very clearly, succinctly, and loftily that the interests of patients must come ahead of anyone else's,” Caplan wrote, reports. “Whatever one's views about personal rights to choose, unless a valid medical reason exists to not vaccinate, the best interests of the patient trumps personal choice in the hierarchy of self-imposed professional values.”

The ASCH noted that there is compelling evidence that vaccine mandates work. At the University of Pennsylvania healthcare system, where vaccination is mandatory, Caplan reported that 98 percent of workers have been inoculated.

“It is time to acknowledge professional duty and make influenza vaccination of health-care workers a mandatory obligation,” Caplan wrote, reports.