Try as they might, the hospitals in the Main Line Health system could persuade only about 60 percent of their staff to get flu shots each year even though it seemed obvious that the shots would reduce the odds that workers would get sick or spread the virus to vulnerable patients.
So this year Main Line Health Inc. is taking a much tougher stance, one that is becoming more common in the region and nation: It's requiring employees - and doctors - to get the shot or get fired.
"It's the right thing to do now," said Connie Cutler, director of infection prevention and control for Main Line Health. The system has ordered 16,000 doses of vaccine and will begin giving the shots to employees, physicians, volunteers, students, and contractors next month. There is an exemption if employees can prove their religion precludes vaccination or they have a medical reason to avoid the shots.