SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Health care workers who don't get a flu shot won't have to wear a mask under a bill that state lawmakers are sending to the governor.
The Senate passed SB1318 on Thursday after the penalty was stripped by the Assembly earlier this week.
The bill is designed to encourage health care workers to get influenza vaccines so they don't infect patients. But the California Nurses Association opposed a provision requiring medical employees to wear surgical masks while seeing patients during flu season if they decline to be vaccinated.
The California Hospital Association spokeswoman Jan Emerson-Shea says nurses are endangering public health by insisting that the mask provision be bargained by their union.
Union spokesman Chuck Idelson says vaccines shouldn't be mandatory and the masks would have been punitive.