MAINE, USA — We've been talking about the COVID-19 vaccine mandate for health care workers, but what about other vaccines?
Vaccines for seasonal influenza, otherwise known as the flu shot, are now available.
Susan Gray from Bangor sent this question to our VERIFY team: Is the flu shot mandatory for health care workers?
Yes, healthcare workers are required to get the flu vaccine.
WHAT WE LEARNED:
"Yes, influenza is now a mandated vaccine by the state of Maine," Jarvis told NEWS CENTER Maine.
This is a somewhat new mandate, though. Discussions to add the influenza vaccine to the list of mandatory vaccines started this time last year. It went into effect on April 14, 2021, and is now mandatory for health care workers, according to the Maine CDC website.
Like all mandates, exceptions exist but only for medical reasons. That's because a law eliminating religious or philosophical exemptions from the state's vaccine statute went into effect last month, according to Maine's DHHS.
"It has really only been for the few years that seasonal influenza had been added to the list but that didn't go into enforcement until this past September," Jarvis said.
So, we can verify that the flu vaccine is in fact mandated for healthcare workers who don't have a medical exemption.
Healthcare workers are also required to be vaccinated against measles, mumps, German measles, chickenpox, hepatitis B and COVID-19.