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Should employers require workers to be vaccinated or show proof of immunization?

Several Disneyland employees were infected when measles hit the theme park in December, and those who may have had contact with the infected were asked not to return to work until they could show proof of immunity. Disney did offer to pay to vaccinate those who were not up-to-date. For the most part, though, employers […]

Several Disneyland employees were infected when measles hit the theme park in December, and those who may have had contact with the infected were asked not to return to work until they could show proof of immunity. Disney did offer to pay to vaccinate those who were not up-to-date.

For the most part, though, employers wouldn’t need to require proof of immunization. It really wouldn’t make sense, considering 96 percent of adults in the U.S. are vaccinated, according to Dr. Arthur Reingold, a professor of epidemiology at the School of Public Health at the University of California, Berkeley.

Reingold says hospital employees are the exception, they should be and a lot are required to show proof of vaccination before working with patients, but beyond that, it isn’t a reasonable expectation.

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Even at schools and day care centers, Reingold told NPR it’s is unrealistic “just because of how unwieldy and expensive it would be,” he says. “I think a lot of people would consider that a distraction.”

In general, any employer requiring proof of vaccination would actually create a lot of work for employees. What adults have their immunization records on hand?

“You can imagine the amount of disruption for teachers running off to get a blood test,” Reingold says. “That would be a fair bit of work, collectively, for society.”

He says the most important thing at this point is to use resources to make sure kids are vaccinated.