Non-vaccinated personnel risk their jobs in the Health Service

VaccinationVaccination.Photo: Cornelius Poppe / NTB scanpix

The Directorate of Health will ask job applicants if they have completed the child vaccination program and if they are willing to take the annual flu vaccine.

Questions regarding vaccination history and attitudes towards vaccines will apply to all those seeking positions where they come into contact with patients, according to the professional magazine Journal. If you are not vaccinated against, for example, measles or the flu, and you not willing to do so, you must be prepared to face the consequences.

– The employer must make individual risk assessments and assess the adequacy if someone does not want to be vaccinated. This will be an issue that one must consider in a recruitment process. It can have consequences for  job offers, or possibly lead to relocation, says Director General  in the Department for Municipal Health and Care services in the Norwegian Directorate of Health, Andreas Skulberg.

Non-vaccinated personel who are already working in intensive care units or with highly immuno-suppressed patients may be removed, something the Directorate of Health has already informed about on its web pages and in the form of letters.

At several major hospitals abroad, it is a usual requirement in the employment contract that employees must vaccinate against flu, especially when dealing with vulnerable patients. Chief Physician at Rikshospitalet, Tobias Gedde-Dahl, wants similar requirements in Norway.

Last winter, only 28 per cent of the health workers vaccinated against seasonal flu, whilst the number in the year before that was even lower, at just 16-17 per cent. This means that as many as seven out of ten health workers may have gone to work with an increased risk of infection.


© NTB scanpix / #Norway Today