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Another California County Mandates Flu Shots for Chiropractors

California Chiropractors Brace for Fallout

Following in the footsteps of Tehama County which issued mandatory flu vaccination for all health care workers including chiropractors on September 1, 2020, Karen Ramstrom, DO, MSPH the Health Officer for Shasta County issued an identical order on September 17, 2020.

CLICK HERE for the Tehama County Story

The Shasta County ORDER mandates influenza vaccination of health care workers during the 2020/2021 influenza season. The order dated September 17, 2020 applies to:

Hospitals, Ambulatory and Community Clinics, Medical Practices, Skilled Nursing and other Long-Term Care Facilities, Dentist Offices, Chiropractic Offices, Physical Therapy Practices, and other Health Care Facilities

The ORDER reads:


Pursuant to Health and Safety Code section 120175:

CLICK HERE to read the full Order

Similar to the Tehama County Order the Shasta Order claims the authority to issue the mandate based on the State of California Health and Safety Code section 120175 which reads:

Each health officer knowing or having reason to believe that any case of the diseases made reportable by regulation of the department, or any other contagious, infectious or communicable disease exists, or has recently existed, within the territory under his or her jurisdiction, shall take measures as may be necessary to prevent the spread of the disease or occurrence of additional cases.

Further justification for the mandate is given in the reasons for the order where it blames COVID-19 stating:

During the COVID-19 pandemic it remains a top priority for HCWs to be vaccinated. The overlap in symptoms of these diseases accompanied by the lack of effective treatment for COVID- 19 requires additional public health intervention to prevent illness and alleviate stress on our health care system.

This mandate requires influenza vaccination for all HCWs who are unable to provide an accepted medical exemption signed by an MD or DO.

According to the Shasta Order compliance is mandatory with potential criminal charges for non-compliance:

Compliance with this Order is mandatory for all health care facilities in the incorporated and unincorporated areas of Tehama County. violation may result in civil enforcement or criminal penalties under Division 105 and/or Division 112 of the Health and Safety Code.

Shasta's Order states this in regards to the efficacy of the flu vaccine:

In the 2019-20 season, influenza vaccine was effective against 37% of influenza A (H1N1) and 50% of influenza B strains. Data was insufficient to assess vaccine efficacy against influenza A (H3N2) strains.

Unlike the Order in Tehuma County, Shasta does not require health care workers who receive their influenza vaccination after November 1st to wear a mask for two weeks after their immunization while antibodies develop in the body.

According to publicly available data at least 37 Counties in California have been mandating the flu vaccine for health care workers over the past several years. However, those previous orders have given health care workers the option of declining and if so, to wear a mask for the duration of the influenza season when working in patient care areas. Further, chiropractors have not been previously listed in the orders.

The 2020 Orders from Shasta and Tehuma County appear to have taken things a step further by removing the mask option and specifically adding chiropractors to the Orders.

Whether the revisions will spread to other California counties and how it will be enforced remains to be seen but it is clearly heading in the direction of mandatory COVID shots for health care workers, including chiropractors, once one is available.

McCoy Press