We provide ethical criteria to establish when vaccine mandates for healthcare workers are ethically justifiable. The relevant criteria are the utility of the vaccine for healthcare workers, the utility for patients (both in terms of prevention of transmission of infection and reduction in staff shortage), and the existence of less restrictive alternatives that can achieve comparable benefits. Healthcare workers have professional obligations to promote the interests of patients that entail exposure to greater risks or infringement of autonomy than ordinary members of the public. Thus, we argue that when vaccine mandates are justified on the basis of these criteria, they are not unfairly discriminatory and the level of coercion they involve is ethically acceptable—and indeed comparable to that already accepted in healthcare employment contracts. Such mandates might be justified even when general population mandates are not. Our conclusion is that, given current evidence, those ethical criteria justify mandates for influenza vaccination, but not COVID-19 vaccination, for healthcare workers. We extend our arguments to other vaccines.