Texas Law: Health Care Worker Vaccination and Patient Safety

TMA worked closely with the Texas Pediatric Society, and the Texas Nurses Association and the Texas Hospital Association to support the legislation which goes into effect on September 1, 2012.The legislation requires each health care facility that is licensed by the Texas Department of State Health Services, to have a policy that identifies the requirements for vaccination for each employee or anyone that comes into contact with patients in their facility. This includes physicians, volunteers, or others that are not directly employed by a facility. This requirement comes from Senate Bill 7, passed by the Texas Legislature in 2011.

This legislation directs health care facilities to use the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance from the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices as the source for identifying the appropriate vaccines for health care workers and the contraindications and precautions to individual vaccines. It also requires the facility to identify measures to be followed by those who are not vaccinated.

The legislation DOES NOT identify or require specific vaccines. A facility is also not required to pay for the vaccination of employees.

What this means for physicians: 

  • In a hospital or other health care facility – physicians should check with any facility where they practice to identify vaccination requirements. Many or most facilities welcome physicians and other patient care practitioners to be vaccinated at the facility.
  • In your office -- A physician may be interested in encouraging their office to be vaccinated for specific vaccines. This can start with education and information on the appropriate vaccines. Many materials on vaccines are available that can be shared with office staff.
  • Physicians are not required to provide vaccines directly to their staff.
  • Physicians with questions or concerns on vaccination may contact the Texas Medical Association’s Committee on Infectious Diseases. Committee members will respond to questions from physicians that have specific questions on medical contraindications.

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