The Center for Disease Control has said that this year’s flu season has come on early, and may be severe. To combat the spread of the virus to susceptible populations, some counties have begun mandating that their healthcare employees receive the vaccination or wear a mask.

Requiring flu shots isn’t a new policy, but the option to either take the shot or wear a mask is a way to increase enforcement at the local level. Governor Brown vetoed a bill that would have required cooperation, but said that local governments could do it without state help. Now, if an employee refuses to wear a mask after denying the flu shot, they could be subject to punishments.

The private sector has viewed the issue as a job requirement, but have received some pushback from organized nurses. They say that the mask destroys bedside manner.

In 2010-2011, only 60 percent of healthcare workers in the state were vaccinated for the flu.

Read the full story at the Bay Area Citizen.