Hospital worker refuses flu shot and files lawsuit

By: October 6th, 2010 Email This Post Print This Post

A lawsuit was filed against AnMed, a hospital in Anderson, SC, by a hospital worker who refused to receive the mandatory flu shot provided by the hospital.

The policy, which went into affect early September, stated that all hospital workers must receive the flu shot or get fired to prevent the spread of the virus to both patients and staff, according to WYFF news.

Bertha Hunter is a cashier at the hospital and refused to receive the shot.  “This is me. I am standing up for me. I am not taking it because they want me to take it,” Hunter told the TV News station. She also never had a flu shot in her life.

The lawsuit filed by Hunter and her attorney, Charles Griffin, stated that  requiring employees to take the shot is a violation of their privacy. Griffin also told WYFF that he has requested a restraining order against the hospital forbidding it to fire employees who refuse the vaccination for non-medical reasons.

The hospital fired back showing their disappointment in the way people are handling the policy.  Hospitals are looking to control the spread of infections to patients and staff. Hospital Spokeswoman Heidi Charalambous told WYFF that by distributing the shot for infection control, it has the same effect as promoting hand washing and sterilizing hospital equipment.

Hospital employees who cannot receive the shot due to allergies are required to wear a surgical face mask while they are working, according to the report.

Do you think Bertha Hunter has a right to decline the shot? Or do you believe all hospital workers should be required to take the flu shot? Let us know in our comment section.

HCPro recently did a webcast on mandatory flu shots. Click on the link below for more information.

N avigate the sticky issues around mandatory flu shots
Seasonal and H1N1 influenza have prompted many healthcare facilities to consider mandatory influenza immunization for employees. The reaction from employees has been unmistakably vocal, as issues of patient safety and workers’ rights clash. HCPro’s Mandatory Influenza Vaccinations: Get Healthcare Staff Onboard at Your Facility, a 90-minute on-demand webcast will provide you with the medical and organizational perspectives for developing a mandatory influenza immunization policy.

Comments

By karen starr on October 6th, 2010 at 8:46 am

No one should be FORCED to take a flu shot. Should they be sent home when they are sick?…..YES but forcing a person to immunize against their will is a violation of rights. Do you force people to take Vitamin C too?? There has to be a limit on what we can and cannot tell people to do in this country!! It is getting out of control!

By Mary Byrnes on October 6th, 2010 at 10:09 am

Is requiring people to wear a seat belt a violation of their rights? Lets be real clear here….If the hospital policy states that every employee receive a flu shot then Ms. Bertha needs to get one or find some other place to work. And on top of it, she’s a cashier coming into contact with many people and their HANDS. Give me a break!

By Sharron Johnson on October 6th, 2010 at 10:14 am

I believe that healthcare facilities have the responsibility to provide a safe environment for their patients and employees. One of the ways to do this is to provide flu shots to all employees at no cost. People that say they won’t get the immunization because the facility says they have to come across as immature and childish. All healthcare workers should feel compelled to do all they can to prevent others from becoming ill because of their actions. Flu shots are safe and have been shown to prevent serious illness, even death caused by the Flu or it’s effects. Should hospital’s require Flu shots? Yes if that is the only way they can get their employees to do the right thing for their patients.

By Zach N. Anderson, LPN on October 6th, 2010 at 10:30 am

As a fellow compliance officer I will have to agree with the hospitals statement. Policies and procedures are in place for a reason…to keep you safe and to conduct business in an orderly fashion. If employees do not agree with certain hospital policies and flat out refuse to follow them then it is my opinion that the employee look for work elsewhere. I do not see this law suit going anywhere.

By Sharon Rich on October 6th, 2010 at 10:31 am

Our institution is requiring flu shots for anyone that comes within 6 feet of a patient. Employees, volunteers and Physicians are given the option of wearing a mask if they do not want to get the vaccine. I think firing the employee is a little extreme.

By Rubin James on October 6th, 2010 at 10:55 am

vaccines are to keep the recipient from catching the virus…NOT to keep them from spreading it.

I agree with Mr. James..The reaso for getting the vaccine is so you do not get sick not to keep from spreading it….If any employee follows Universal Precautions and WASHES their hands as they should you would not have to worry. I’m glad I don’t work in that facility as I’m allergic and would refuse to wear a surgical mask while working….I think someone has taken things a bit tooo far!!!

Someone can be infected with influenza and be contagious to others 1 day before they develop obvious symptoms.(See CDC website).
Even if a person is conscientious about UP & handwashing and go home when they are feel sick, they may have already passed the virus to others.
There may be different reasons people don’t want to take the flu shot, but it would be very unusual if a facility did not offer alternatives, such as wearing a mask for the duartion of the season.
The employee in this case should chose between the alternatives.

Yes, requiring people to wear seatbelts is a violation of their rights. You have people on motorcylcles who are not required to wear a helmet any more. So why should anyone be made to take a flu shot? It is our God given right as an American, or at least it used to be, to decide what we do or not do to our bodies. People with communicable diseases are still allowed to work, but who’s to say that without a flu shot that everyone will get the flu??

I dont believe anybody should be forced to take any substance into their body that they dont want.

Lack of adequate education on the topic of the benefit of flu vaccines often spurs these kinds of responses. Yes the vaccines protect the individual from the flu, but as Arlene noted Mr. James and Vicki do not understand the real important issue with vaccinating people working in healthcare. Sure it keeps them from getting sick so there are better attendance at work, but it also keeps them from spreading the flu to vulnerable patients, who have the right to safe care when coming to a hospital. I encourage you to look up Dr. Greg Poland’s presentation on the 7 Truths of influenza. Many people have subclinical symptoms of the flu, but can spread it to others without realizing they are even sick. This woman is not being forced to take the vaccine. No one can hold her down to give it to her. They do have the right to refuse and work somewhere else. I would be willing to bet that cashier has to wear a “required” uniform to work in her area. Is that also infringing on her rights? Are hospitals not going to be able to require people in high risk areas to not wear artificial nails to prevent infections as well? Where does this all ever end? What about the patients rights in all of this? That is who should have the right to sue, when they come down with the flu they got while in the hospital.

Come on you guys. The stats for handwashing have improved but far from perfect. The same staff who refuse immunization are the first to call work for a week reporting they have the flu.
This is a behavioral issue and and shows a disengaged attitude and a lack of patient/family/community respect. It’s all about them. You’re just as likely to be exposed in the supermarket.(Who doesn’t touch the tomatoes or avacados?)Everyone needs to get immunized unless they have an allergy to a component of the vaccine.

I am an infection control practitioner. Do your readers know that many hospitals have followed the CDC recommendations for immunity to other diseases and require proof of immunity on hire for such things as measles, mumps, and rubella which could pose a risk to patients as well as staff? The difference is that this is done on hire, so those who object can decline the tests and/or vaccinations and not take the job. While I feel that influenza immunization is a moral mandate for those working around fragile patients, I am uncomfortable with REQUIRING this for staff to keep their job of, possibly, many years. If hospitals want to make yearly influenza vaccine mandatory I think they should start with new hires. Current flu vaccination averages approach 60% or more in hospitals that put on vaccination campaigns. With all the turnover it won’t take long to develope signifcant herd immunity – and will not antagonize those who are strongly opposed to the vaccination. (By the way, wearing a mask all day is NOT an effective way of preventing infection. Oral/nasal secretion-wet masks are a dangerous breeding ground for germs. If one touches their own mask and does not wash hands every time, they are probably putting more people at risk of infection than had they not worn masks).

By Celeste Erickson on October 6th, 2010 at 3:50 pm

Just like it’s a moral responsibility to not drive impaired by drugs or alcohol, because we could hurt or kill someone…anyone choosing to work around people whose health is compromised need to do what’s necessary to assure they don’t spread disease.
In some situations the “rights” of the individual are less important than those of the greater whole. This lawsuit shouldn’t go anywhere.

All you need to do is take a look at the following 2 articles that clearly document (with valid references) that flu vaccines have never been proven to be either safe or effective:

“The Truth About the Flu Shot” by Sherri Tenpenny, DO:
http://drtenpenny.com/the_truth_about_the_flu_Shot.aspx

“Forcing Flu Shots on Health Care Workers: Who Is Next?” By Barbara Loe Fisher:
http://www.nvic.org/NVIC-Vaccine-News/September-2010/Forcing-Flu-Shots-on-Health-Care-Workers-Who-Is-N.aspx#_edn22

Everyone has a right (including healthcare workers) to make an informed decision regarding whether or not they will consent to a drug (vaccines ARE drugs) or a medical procedure based on the amount of medical risk they are willing to accept…and should NOT be fired for making this choice.

I agree with the hospital that all employees should be vaccinated. If this employee chooses not to be, then she should have to follow the same protocol as employees who cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons. The hospital should not be a place that one should have to worry about getting sick, whether it be the flu or some other illness.

Requiring a person to introduce medication into his or her body as grounds for employment- even for the protection of others- is walking a thin line between individual rights and collective welfare.

As a government authorized compliance trainer and safety and health consultant, I’ve worked with over 300 companies in 11 states and have dealt with issues similar to this on many occasions.

Under OSHA, employers are charged with providing a workplace free of recognized hazards to workers. Obviously, the seasonal flu is a recognized hazard both to other workers and the general public.

However, employers have several engineering or administrative control options. Option one: flu shot. But, in some years, the shot is not effective against the current strains. Vaccinations, though prudent, are not a 100 percent reliable plan, which means employers should not insist on this as basis for employment- most especially since it does involve the introduction of substances into the body of a worker.

In recent years a UVA study found the vaccine only 41% protective against serious flu illness. A similar study in 2003 found that year’s vaccine to be 69% protective. Additionally, it takes some time for the vaccine to reach full effectiveness once administered.

Therefore, the employer should have other sources of controlling the hazard- hygiene methods, decontamination methods, requiring employees who are sick to stay home, etc.

Mandating employees to have flu shots- if it were the only means to prevent a hazard and a completely reliable means- might be reasonable as a basis for employment. For example, donning respirators in confined spaces with certain chemicals that cannot be aerated or ventilated to remove the hazard IS the only reliable way to achieve safety of workers. It is reasonable that employers require respirators as a basis of job duties when a hazard cannot be controlled otherwise.
However, best practice management says employers should offer all options to employees. Then educate employees through training about the validity versus minimal hazards of flu shots, as well as universal precautions and decontamination methods, etc and allow employees to choose which options they feel most comfortable with. But it is reasonable for employers to mandate employees select an option (or several options) and be consistent with complying as basis for employment.
Additionally, since employers (such as this hospital) are required to provide a safe and healthy workplace, one might ask, “Do we require all patients or visitors to have mandatory flu vaccines, hepatitis shots or similar vaccines to prevent transmission of disease to hospital employees?”
There are many sick individuals in lobbies, gift shops, cafeterias, etc. who may contaminate workers. We don’t require those visitors or patients to have vaccines, as of course, it would violate personal rights of visitors and patients. A workers personal rights are just as necessary and worthy of protecting as members of the public.
Bottom line: Employers have a right to protect workers and patients from serious hazards. But allowing employees to select an option protects personal rights of workers, as well as provides for safety of other employees and the public.

By pam clingan on October 11th, 2010 at 10:36 am

Yes, forcing an individual to wear a seatbelt is a violation of their rights. just as forcing an individual to get the flu vaccination. But we live in a different world today. We do not have very many rights left. Lets take one more away. Why not??? Dont get me wrong. I do believe that the hospitals are trying to keep patients as well as workers healthy. but if an individual feels strongly about not getting the flu shot then just make them wear a surgical mask. The worker should have the right to say no when it comes to injecting something into their body dont you think? And the lack of education comment, not necessary.

Rubin James,
If you don’t catch it, you can’t spread it

By Kathy Lawson on October 12th, 2010 at 8:07 am

There is a big difference is what is reqiured ON the body verses what is put into the body. I took a flu shot once and was sick the whole winter. I normally do not get the flu. I feel we have a right to say what goes into our bodies and what does not. I don’t see this as any different than mandating I take a Xanax everyday before work. If I choose not to take a drug, or vacine that is my right, it is my body. Why should I inject something into my body that studies proves may not be safe and are usually made in a foreign country. Do I trust those people to make sure I am safe with taking a drug? In this day and age, I don’t think so.

Employers should have the right to manage and develop mandatory immunization policies for the protection of patients and other employees; however employees should have the right to decline an immunization as a human right. An immunization cannot be compared to the laws mandating the use of seat belts because an immunization must be administered to the body causing the body to have a response. There is no guarantee what the body’s response will be to an immunization. There is also no guarantee that the seasonal flu shot will immunize an individual against every strain of flu virus that will be present in a season.

By Jessie San Miguel on October 12th, 2010 at 9:25 am

Immunization is a two-way street,if hospitals are requiring their employees to take the vacine, then all guest,visitors and patients that enter a hospital should be required to get the vacine; that is the only way to stop the spread of a virus. Healthcare workers should not be singled out, after all, we in the healthcare industry are usually healthier than the gerneral public.

With all of the posts so far no one has mentioned the fact that some people, although a very very small number, do have a reaction to the vaccine. What would you do to protect the worker who has a negative reaction to the vaccine after the administration has required the vaccine? In this country we are allowed to make informed decisions based upon freedom not based upon a form of Totalitarianism. By “requiring” someone to do something are we losing the “right” to decide?

I do agree that the employer has the responsibility to ensure the safety of their employees to their utmost ability, but there are many ways of doing this. L.C. makes some very good points towards this. If the vaccine is not 100% effective, how are you protecting the employee? If the employer is making every effort to protect the employee, why not allow them to put on a mask while working?

Another point to look at is how are you protecting the patients and staff if you have visitors that have not received the vaccine and they do not wear a mask? The bottom line is there is no way to make something 100% safe. You can only do your best to prevent bad things from happening but you should explore and provide options before “mandating” something.

By allowing staff to decide which method they choose you probably won’t receive as much push-back as you do by mandating the flu shot.

I am not advocating either method shot versus mask. I have received my flu shot every year in the hopes that I won’t catch the flu, but I have gotten it even after receiving the shot. Again, you cannot make something 100% safe and effecive.

By Maureen Galvin on October 12th, 2010 at 10:22 am

Recieving a mandatory flu vaccine is the same as recieving the MMR mandated vaccine or annual PPD requirements. These requirments are for the employee’s safety as well as the patients. If you do not want to recieve the vaccines required to work in healthcare then perhaps you are in the wrong profession. People who have an adverse reaction or allergies to a componate of the vaccines should be excluded.

Some of the above comments have me a bit concerned. Flu is not just prevented by universal precautions or handwashing. This person is a casheer in the cafeterial. She probably has more face to face contact with patients and staff than most of the HCW’s on the floor do.

I love it when everyone yells about the rights of the individual being stepped on. What about the rights of the employer? As long as there is not a law against it, the employer is free to set the conditions of employement.

One of the great things about America is that you are free to not work at a specific place. I would bet that the benifits this person receives are a lot better than what she might get as a casheer at any other resturant and that is a factor in why she does not just quit.

All people who work in a healthcare facility should be immunized against any disease that they may contract and might spread to others.

Failure to wear a seatbelt jeopardizes only your safety. Failure to protect yourself to the extent possible, whether by means of immunization, hand washing, and/or personal protective equipment, from infectious diseases, places patients at risk. It is a fact that influenza can be deadly to those who are medically weak or have compromised immune systems.

As workers in health care, we must consider whether it is our “personal right” to imperil the health of our patients.

I feel it is a violation of a persons freedom of choice.

Where do we draw the line; once we allow mandating vaccines. I am a RN. It is easy for the public to piont fingers at healthcare. We have been exposed, and managing patients with MANY other infectious diseases for years, so the FLU is nothing new to Patient & other staff, and community safety. So if you, Mr Public think all nurses should be forced to take a vaccine, then so should ALL people in Food services, Hepititis C, Teachers exposing children, and ALL families that enter the hospitl to visit Family !! Show me your FLU shot papers. We, health care staff, know how to NOT spread illness. Requiring a person to take a Vaccine, when there are NO long term research studies to prove this practice is Safe. Health care people , understand how the body makes an antigen, antibody after being exposed, OUR body knows how to protect from illness. There has also been neurologocal side effects so…will we ever know the real truth…the CDC states the flu shot “Appears safe” at this time Seizures, narcolepsey, Belspalsey. If the goverment, or employers REQUIRE vaccines, remember, they are looking out for the “greater good” for the masses, not individual rights. So we need to proceed carefully, to be required to take an injection , where you have to sign a waiver to release responbility if you have an adverse reaction.

By Melanie Swift, MD on October 12th, 2010 at 8:09 pm

Vaccine mandates are built on assumptions:
1.HCWs transmit flu to pts
2.Vaccination is effective
3.Vaccination is safe
4.Vaccinating HCWs has an impact on pts
5.Other control measures are not adequate
6.Any incremental benefit of mandatory flu vaccine, if it did exist, is justified despite the loss of autonomy.

#1. Yes, there have been case reports of nosocomial flu, in which HCWs were the most likely cause of transmission. However these are the minority of nosocomial flu cases – most are either from another patient, a visitor/family member, or cannot be determined. Most current literature trying to make this point cites cases that are over 30 y old. The patients were never vaccinated, even when old enough to be. Half the time the strain causing the infection wasn’t included in that year’s vaccine anyway. So while #1 is true, the evidence is quite weak that this is a big problem. Flu comes from the community, as a rule.

#2. Vaccination is effective. Yes, but less effective than previously thought. See recent Cochrane Review at http://www.thecochranelibrary.com and Kelly, et al. Estimation of Influenza Vaccine Effectiveness from Routine Surveillance Data. Looks like 40 – 50% is more realistic overall.

#3 Flu vaccine is quite safe. Sore arms do happen.

#4 This is where it falls apart. Vaccinating HCW in the highest risk setting imaginable, where pts have contact almost exclusively with HCW for the entire flu season (nursing homes) really hasn’t helped at all, unless the patients are also vaccinated, and then you can get a small effect in a good year. But you have to have vaccinated the patients too, even to get that benefit. Change to acute care settings, then even outpatient settings. There’s no evidence that HCW vaccination in this setting will have an impact. I’m open to it, but haven’t seen it yet.

#5 Other control measures such as hand hygeine, source control, respiratory etiquette, visitor policies, etc are the only thing we have to prevent many other respiratory viruses. So we need to do them anyway, regardless of vaccine status or the HCW/visitor/whomever. And most years, we won’t know if the flu vaccine matched well until it’s too late. And in fact, they do work quite well. AND you can enforce/mandate these behaviors without violating anyone’s autonomy or rights. Problem is, vaccination is easier to measure and attach consequences to. But easier does not make it right.

#6. Given the state of evidence right now, I am far from convinced that the best thing to do with HCW who haven’t had flu vaccine is to throw them away. I would rather have a skilled and compassionate nurse at the bedside vaccinated or not.

P.S. All this aside, this was a cashier, not someone doing patient care. All the more reason to exercise restraint in this sort of draconian policy.

By Dianne Longson on October 13th, 2010 at 3:38 am

To Melanie Swift: many thanks! At last some actual evidence instead of emotion, and the evidence does not support the stance of the hospitals.
To those who have some ethical concerns about this policy, again thanks. No-one has the right to force any kind of drug onto anyone. If this was a patient being forced to have treatment everyone would be horrified. Do HCWs not have any rights?
It would seem this is the case if one listens to everyone else. However in most of those posts there is lots of emotion but little evidence of clear thinking either from the ethical perspective or the evidence perspective.

By Angela Smith on October 13th, 2010 at 8:20 am

Since the vaccine makers guess which strain of the flu is going to be the most virulent forcing someone to take a flu shot or be fired seems a bit extreme. The worker could still get another strain of the flu and pass that on….isn’t the flu just a crap shoot anyway? However, I do appreciate the evidence that Ms Swift posted via comment, and I will use this blog posting and its comments in my teaching of disease transmission to my dental assisting students.

By Marie Fornof on October 13th, 2010 at 10:01 am

As an experienced infection preventionist, I was surprised to see the lack of understanding in the ponts made by Dr. Swift:

By Marie Fornof on October 13th, 2010 at 10:16 am

Let me finish my prior e-mail. I agree we may not need to mandate the vaccine but should mandate vaccine or wearing a mask while at work for the season (10/1 through 3/31).
Per the comments from Dr Swift:
1. How many healthcare associated transmissions and deaths does it take? While we can’t always prove that the HCW is the source, even once in a faciilty is too much if the person did not take the vaccine or wear a mask at work.
2. In years of a good match, the vaccine effectiveness overall may not be high but in a healthy HCW CDC shows about 85 to 90% effectiveness. In elderly individuals this drops to under 40%- hence an overall rate of around 50%.
3. So your arm is sore- get over it. I’m getting older, so I ache after I exercise properly but realize the benefits of it.
4. You can’t mandate for the entire populaiton but you can for your employees. And, most elderly people do take the vaccine. It will have an impact but until we can get the HCW vaccinated you can’t see it. And,IPs have for many years voiced the need to the influenza vaccine without many positive results. In this instance, another “toolkit” to fix the situation just isn’t enough.
5. True- and we need to do this. Mandate vaccine or a mask- a large healthcare system did this. We have 7 of the hospitals in our large metropolitian area. At first, many HCWs chose the mask but by the end of the first month of wearing them, most HCWs gave up their objections to the vaccien because they didn’t want to wear a mask all the time while at work. Overall vaccination rates were 97% for the system.
6. We are at opposite ends of the spectrum. I believe the literature is there. Just as we require MMR to work in healthcare, HBV to go to school, we need to act on this mandate. Choose eitehr a mask or vaccination. The influenza vaccine is safe except for a few individuals with egg allergies. Some of the vaccine is now manufactured without preservatives for those with allergies to thimerosol.

It is the right of hte patient to have safe care provided. So, a requriement to get the influenza vaccine perhapes allwoing a choice to wear a mask at work for the season is indeed an idea whose time has arrived. Our patients deserve nothing less.

Thank-you Ms. Fornof! I also am an Infection Preventionist. Some of the comments posted have really been a suprise to me! To those HCW who are opposed – Do you remember why you chose healthcare? I decided on it because I wanted to help people get better! How can I say that is what I’m doing if I am not willing to protect myself, my patients, co-workers and family by getting vaccinated? As far as the posting asking if ‘the flu is just a crap shoot anyway?’ – Life is basically a crap shoot. Come on, people! Suck it up and think of everyone around you first.
I do agree the choice of getting vaccinated or being fired is a bit extreme. Choices of either get vaccinated or wear a mask from 10-01 through 03-31 are a bit more reasonable – I know I wouldn’t want to wear masks for that entire time period, and I’m not really excited about the potential infection control problems mask wearing could create — but at least the patient’s/coworkers/visitors need for protection from those HCW that DON”T always perform correct hand hygiene (Yes, I know there is always a few!) is somewhat covered.

If one is in the U.S. military , one gets the required vaccinations. No whining, no suing no “Awww Sarge do I gotta?” Healthcare workers should do the same to protect themselves, their families, and the public. Do the right thing and get the shot. Don’t claim your rights are being violated because they aren’t.

By Bob Steele R.R.T. on October 13th, 2010 at 4:21 pm

I WISH my company required it. Then I wouldn’t have to pay for it. I am I feel that this should not be forcd on hcw’s. However, there is a lot of Bad information about side effects, horrible disclaimer etc… that has frightened out of taking them. This includes some crazy conspiracies (some you would’nt believe).

An employee refusing to receive a vaccine that will prevent the spread of a virus to people who are already compromised should not be allowed to work in a hospital environment. The hospital has the right to require the vaccine just as it has the right to require all other vaccines be up to date. The employee has the right to refuse but the hospital has the right to fire her or require the wearing of a mask if she does. I worked a a childrens hospital who recently passed a rule that those not taking the flu vaccine were required to wear a mask from the time they entered the building until they left. You could refuse the vaccine but the mask was not an option.

It is ridiculous to make it mandatory for an employee to have the flu shot, and absurd to fire them for declining. The flu shot does not prevent the spread of all types of virus and bacteria. Does this facility, and many people that have posted here, really believe the flu shot is the answer to the 100% prevention and spreading of viruses and bacteria? It would be far better to educate individuals and strive toward 100% compliance with hand hygiene. What happens to individuals that never seroconvert after receiving the vaccine? Will they also be fired? Will this facility pay to have a titre drawn on all employees? Exactly what will wearing a mask do? A surgical mask filters a certain size of particulate matter, and does not air tight seal around a person’s face. It is not an effective form of prevention in the spread of all viruses and bacteria. A mask is also only effective for a period of time. Employees would need to have serial mask changes to have any effect. Talk about ostracizing a person! I don’t agree with Bertha’s reason for refusing, but I do hope she has success with her lawsuit.

Boy! I see we have a large number of highly educated people not open to those that are asking the proper questions.

1) How effective is the vaccine in preventing influenza? Over 100 “healthy” people need to be vaccinated to prevent 1 case of flu-like syndrome.

2) How many viruses cause flu like syndrome? Over 200 and the influenza vaccine only directly targets 3 of the viruses.

3) What is the incidence of adverse reaction to the vaccine? For injection site reaction, it is as high as 64%. Unfortunately, the CDC does not report the incidence of severe reaction both at the injection site and systemically. They use minimalizing statements. The incidence of Guillain-Barré Syndrome is approximately 1.6 per million persons vaccinated. The incidence of death is not listed.

4) Does masking prevent the transmission of influenza? There is no data.

5) Does vaccination prevent sub-clinical transmissible infection? There is no data.

6) Does vaccination of healthy individuals reduce symptoms or days lost from work? Only a modest effect.

7) Does vaccination reduce the incidence of pneumonia or transmission? There is no evidence.

8) In view of the above, is firing or requiring masking a reasonable result of not being vaccinated? No.

Please see

http://www2.cochrane.org/reviews/en/ab001269.html

http://www.cdc.gov/flu/professionals/vaccination/vaccine_safety.htm

Thanks for reading.

From the perspective of a RN with 18+ years hospital experience, there are many more facets to the debate over a mandated influenza vaccination than “a right to refuse” the vaccine. In addition to one’s right as an educated individual to make informed decisions regarding their personal healthcare choices, what about their right to compensation should they suffer physical complications and financial loss due to receiving a mandated vaccine? Will possible side effects of the vaccination be covered by the facility’s worker’s compensation policy? Will missed days from work due to resulting flu like symptoms be paid time off courtesy of the mandating facility or count against the employee’s annual evaluation as absences from the workplace? In the event serious complications occur will hospitalization costs be absorbed by the mandating facility or be left to financially deplete family resources? Sounds ridiculous and unlikely? Mark wrote: “The incidence of Guillain-Barré Syndrome is approximately 1.6 per million persons vaccinated. The incidence of death is not listed.” Ask any ICU nurse when they most often see newly diagnosed Guillain-Barre cases and their response will be during the flu vacination season. In addition, many patient care facilities already “encourage” employees to remain home if showing symptoms of cold or flu in the interest of patient safety while also marking these absences against the employee’s evaluation. In effect, the healthcare employee is punitively encouraged to continue working while sick.

Let’s look at another area of patient safety in the health care setting, one more logisticaly solvable. The violation of basic infection control policies is a major issue yet as healthcare’s dirty little secret (pun intended) receives little to no media recognition in comparison to this debate. The inpatient spread of MRSA (an antibiotic resistant staff infection commonly spread by poor hand washing) results in many more complications and inpatient deaths year round than does the flu, yet organizations are receiving favorable media coverage garnered by mandating vaccines while consistently understaffing patient care areas. Understaffing = overworked = poor compliance to standards of care = infection = loss of life or limb. Simple solution? Quit threatening healthcare staff with termination over a flu shot and make patient care a priority over profit margin.

My mother is going through the very same thing in MI. She has Lupus but has not had the flu in years. We both feel strongly aginst the vaccine. I myself get 3 times sicker with the shot and am convinced that if I take another “Flu Shot”, I will die. When I get the flu without the shot I am sick maybe one week. If I get the shot I am sick 3 weeks knocking on death’s door. This is plan and simple a violation of my mother’s right to refuse care as stated in every patient’s bill of rights. My job has not gotten around to me yet. You better believe I will be without a job before I die to prove a point for a few nickles. As for my mother I am advising her to seek legal advice ASAP! The line must be drawn somewhere. We are adults with human rights. If nothing else this is America isn’t it???

NOBODY should be forced to get a flu shot, or any vaccination for that matter. There are many other ways to prevent the spread of disease and the research/track record show they are much more safe and effective than a flu shot that hasn’t been sufficiently tested.

I work for a large metropolitan hospital/corporation which has just told us if we,or a spouse smoke, we will be required to pay an additional $44.00 per month on our insurance premiums if we use one of the corporation programs provided. And then there is this thing called Obamacare – which is government-mandated healthcare – whether you want it or not. So, I wonder in the case of this lady if this is her “cry in the wilderness” or a lack of perspective. Healthcare is changing faster than any of us could have anticipated – and mandatory flu vaccination is just the tip of the iceberg. What next – paying additional premiums if your BMI is too high?
I applaud you all for at least getting involved in the dialogue…

Finally, we ought to pay more if we smoke or are obese. I’m a nurse and tired of having to help peple 100 lbs overweight that are not motivated to loose it. Smoking was shown to be bad almost 50 years ago and obesity rates keep climbing. Why should people who don’t smoke and exercise with maybe at most 10% extra weight pay for those who do? Since discussions about better health don’t seem to be fixing the problem, maybe taking more money out of a paycheck will send a better message. It is not about freedom of choice – it is about health.

How can anyone agree that forced vaccination is the way to go? This is criminal and communist thinking. No one should be forced to be INJECTED with toxins. I feel we live in Nazi Germany without fences surrounding us! Yes, some people have allergic reaction and get very sick when injected with the flu vaccine. The Flu vaccine doesnt prevent deaths. The flu vaccine contains mercury. Mercury is the second most toxic substance known to man and we are being FORCED to inject this crap into our bodies?

I have a profoundly disabled son living in a residential home. We had a flu outbreak and the clients that were sick and suffering needed to be quarantined, although they all had their flu vaccine. My son who did not get a flu vaccine, never got sick.

Also when he had chicken pox(He is on a pureed diet, he has trouble swallowing)he refused liquids, and of course became dehydrated. He lands up needing IV to get him re-hydrated, No meds. He was better in 24 hours and left the hospital.

According to a Lancet study over 100,000 die every year from ADR just in the U.S this doesnt include drug errors.

How do we know those 272 a year the CDC claims that dies from the flu actually died from the flu and not a ADR? Yes, that’s the TRUE number that die from the flu. Its on the CDC website, look for yourself. The rest are from pneumonia(Old Mans Friend)

Who is pushing to SELL the FLU VACCINE? Who profits from the sale of forcing people to be INJECTED with toxins? I dont live in a communist country and I will be damned if I stand by and allow it to become that way!

This is ridiculous.

I take vitamin D and never get sick, never get the flu even when I come into contact with it. These vaccines are terrible and should NEVER be forced upon anyone.

I would just wear a mask. People who willfully just submit to getting vaccinated against their will are sheep.

WAKE UP AMERICA!

The flu vaccine advocates are all under mind control. There is no study proving the safety efficacy of the flu vaccine. I`ve worked in a hospital for 20 years and ever since the push has been on for taking these toxic shots, there has actually been an increase in absenteeism among those that get the vaccine. 3/4 of my fellow employees who get the shot immediately get sick and miss an average of 3 days work thereafter.
Public saftey eh? Do you realize how many non employees are waltzing through my hospital ( family, visitors etc.) on any given day, in direct contact with patients? Are they required to show they`ve taken a flu shot? How about the grocery store clerk who comes in contact with a lot more people than a nurse does during the course of his/her 12 hour shift. Should we require anyone working in a public get a vaccine as a condition of employment because immuno-suppressed people have to visit the supermarket too.
The flu is a virus. A surgical mask does little to prevent the transmission of a virus.
And lastly, because of the nursing shortage and hospitals tightening their budgets, i`ve seen many instances whereby nurses are encourgaged to show up to work, sick or not. I`ve never seen a manager send a nurse home who was coughing or sniffling.
This whole flu vaccine thing is just setting a precendence for control. It has little to do with public safety. Do your research.

SYRINX- you need to do YOUR research- this is the problem with a blog- no facts just crazy idiots like you

Syrinx you are exactly right.. People are brainwashed to believing the FDA and the Dr.’s trained by medical schools supported by the DRUG companies are unquestionably right. Do the research. I don’t take a flu shot and I’m rarely ever sick with even a sniffle for more than a day. The vaccines are only a guess at what strain of flu may be coming … unless they are spreading it.. how can the medical establishment expect to gamble/guess the right strain of vaccine to prevent anything. Besides that the vaccines are produced with mercury. Dr. Blaylock has the info on the vaccines.
Hospitals are quarantined from the general public, people carry all sorts of bacteria,virus, ect. Wake up.. mandating employees get shots is just plain communistic. Hospitals should worry more about overworked RN’s and the staff infections that cause more harm to patients.

Call me crazy. I do not care. Wake up people. Drug companies compel physicians to prescribe their particular prescription medications to their patients by giving them a monetary incentive all the time. What is not to say the vaccine makers didn’t cut a deal with the hospital to begin with promoting their vaccine drug? And THIS is the reason for their policy? You couldn’t have a more ideal control study group. One that you could easily follow because they are present at their job every day. Someone I know died after getting their first and only flu shot. They passed away due to complications of the flu. Stop believing officials and the pharmaceutical companies have your best interest at heart. They can’t make as much money off of people who are healthy. Just food for thought.

Vitamin D proven far better than vaccines at preventing influenza infections:
http://www.naturalnews.com/029760_vitamin_D_influenza.html
I work in a hospital (but do not care for patients and have very little contact with others) that is now mandating the flu shot for all employees. I will be quitting my job at the end of October 2011 because we do not have a choice to wear a mask – get the shot or get terminated. I have gotten the flu shot twice in my life and each time I felt like crap for many weeks afterward. I know that I have a strong neurological reaction to the formaldehyde in perfumes and air fresheners and I will never allow that toxin to be injected into my bloodstream ever again. I take 5000 IU’s of Vitamin D every day and have not even had so much as a cold in years. Big Pharma can’t make money off of Vitamin D, but they can make a lot of money from convincing the CDC and all hospitals across the country to mandate flu shots. I will not play Russian roulette with my health.

What is it with these dictators who demand that you put this poison into your body. I am a nursing student and I am faced with either taking a flu shot for a clinical or not taking it and failing. I am not taking the poison. I am going to find an attorney who will take my case, and sue the hell out of the school and the hospital. Ohio State Law, which is where I am, gives me the right to exempt out. Why should the hospital be more powerful than the law? Vaccinations by intimidation and retaliation are unethical to say the least. If the law does not require it, they should not be able to either. I will stand against it. And I will bet that my constitutional rights will win, vs. their hospital dictator.

Thanks for your spirited comment, but I think you will find that influenza vaccination as a condition of employment has been upheld in many cases. Also, your use of “constitutional rights” shows either your ignorance of the concept or the misuse of the phrase. Conditions of employment set by private employers are not government interferences which constitutional rights protect. Be sure to find an attorney who can explain that to you.

Poision? Don’t even want you as a nurse if you don’t care to protect your patiets. And, each institution that has mandated it thus far has not been successfully sued- it is as stated above a condiiton of employment when it is mandated.

I agree this is the beginning of control. No real attempts at education have been made to educate staff about alternatives like vitamin D, C, and A to name a few and minerals like chromimum. Echinacea and other immune building natural agents are not money makers and that is the driving force. We need to be less trusting of the origins of some of these disease processes and stop being blind about the power of the mighty dollar. Employees should not be strongarmed into taking injections because these are said private entities (employers). How private is it really when most services are funded with taxpayers dollars called medicare. Don’t be blinded by America’s need for quick fixes and no personal responsibility and be sold on this money making scheme at the expense of the health of many innocent ill-informed employees.

The measures cited above by Lucy will help boost but not overcome influenza and the health people still get it. As for cost, compare the cost of all the products above- esp. high grade ones and you will see that influenza vaccine is many times LESS. thanks you.

I am very upset about my daughter being forced to take the flu shot last week at an Atlanta hospital where she works as a nurse on the Ortho floor. I read the package inserts last year from all 3 manufacturers of the 3 ingredients and there is no way aspartame can be explained away. She was told she would have to change into a new (uncomfortable) mask each time she entered a different patients’ room and if she was caught without a mask she would be fired. So she gave in and took the shot. This has to stop.

There is no aspertane in single dose flu shots- even if the facility opts to use the multidose vials that do contain preservatives, there are other choices that are available for <$30.00

By Hospital Social Worker on November 2nd, 2011 at 6:39 pm

Clearly, the people who are “for” this insane invasion of rights have never had a reaction to the flu shot. I have never in my life had a flu shot, and never in my life had the flu…since I work at a hospital and was required to receive the vaccination or lose my job, I had no choice other than to take the vaccine. However, 2 hours after my vaccination, my chest got tight, my body was stiff, and my throat closed, as well as a fever well over 100. So, I for one am seriously against the flu shot being forced upon anybody. And as for the argument about the MMR vaccine and flu vaccine, get real people, those vaccines have been tested for years and years, the flu vaccine is new EVERY YEAR, please tell me how one year of testing is efficient enough to say “well yep, everybody in the U.S. needs this shot!”

By Sharon Rich RN on November 3rd, 2011 at 7:52 am

This would be one employee that would be exempt from taking a flu vaccine because of having a serious reaction to the flu vaccine. The option at my facility would be to wear a mask when in a patient care area.

This was not a reaction to the shot- you need to read the literature from CDC. It was due to a virus you would have gotten anyhow.

Unless you work in a healthcare facility you really should have nothing to say about this. You are not the one put in a position to lose your job. Forced flu shots and mandatory mask wearing is not an option for you. There are many infectious dieases in healthcare other than during flu season. Who protects the employees? It is a nice thing to offer flu shots to those in healthcare that would take them. But for the ones who can’t or won’t for whatever reason has that right. A person should not have to lose their job especially when getting the flu shot is only precautionary not preventative. As long as an individual take precautionary measures before entering a patient’s room or conversing with them face to face, should be good enough. Wearing mask all day long is not the answer either. As healthcare providers, we do want to protect the resident as best we can. But we are not God and no matter what we do if God is going to require your soul by means of the flu or whichever way He chooses then there is nothing you are I could do about it. So no, a persons job should not be threatened because he or she chooses not to take the flu shot and does not want to wear a mask for the entire eight hours a day even when there is no patient contact.

I do work in healthcare- it is not about you. it is about PATIENT SAFETY. Get a shot or wear a mask whenever you are in the building. You spead it to others with patient contact.

I have worked in healthcare for over 15 years. I have never had the flu or a flu shot. So now that it is a big money maker I have to get a flu shot or wear a mask. I find this to be ridiculous. Oh and by the way, I have also been hospitalized and did not get the flu shot nor did I get the flu being there. If you want to take the flu shot and/or wear a mask, this is your choice. My argument is not that I won’t wear a mask. I just don’t see the reason to wear it your entire shift when not in patient contact. Especially when most of my work is done in my office. Neither the flu shot or a mask is preventative. So please, don’t tell me what to do. Again if you’re okay with doing either this is your choice. You will probably get some flu virus that your shot did not cover.

I suggest we all read the CDC posting regarding influenza (flu). The flu shot is designed to protect chronically ill patients who have already been hospitalized with a potentially life threatening illness. This begs the question, what percentage of these patients would have expired regardless of any other infections flu or otherwise. The figures that are presented regarding flu related deaths are speculated as flu testing is NOT mandated for adult patients. To further add flaw to the CDC thinking they openly admit that the current testing for the flu is not as sensitive as it should be adding to false results. It seems to me the hysteria generated by poor science is just fabrication to bankroll big pharma allowing their industry to survive in a poor market.

I will further add to the discussion a question that we all should ask. Did last years mandate of the flu vaccine have an impact on any population of patients who have been hospitalized? Was a study on the efficacy of the flu vaccine done and if so where are those results. It appears that very few who stand behind the flu mandate are willing to evaluated the results of their efforts as they blindly support flawed science. If anything, the geriatric population as well as the pediatric population ( the highest risk groups ) should be tested and studied further and proper data collected before such mandate.

I’m a nurse and I take care of people post-flu vaccine and my list is currently over 50 people so far this year of people who have gotten ill after receiving the FLU VACCINE! It seems to be attacking people with lowered immune systems and children and employees that work at my health system. I even know 2 people that said they were diagnosed with MS after getting the Flu shot but still take it or they will lose their jobs! This is sad! Why would an employer want to make their people sick? This is BS and people need to stand up for their RIGHTS! This is what Hitler did. Wake up people!

Hitler’s genocide was NOT based on evidence but on racial hatred- flu vaccine is based on evidence even though the vaccine is not totally effective. You can’t get MS fromthe shot so that is bogus and shows a lack of perceptive thought. As to getting ill, they would have gotten ill – shot or no shot. The vaccine is not dangerous just imperfect at this point in time. You need to WAKE UP YOURSELF and do some reading from a credible site such as CDC not those that promote urban legends.

You ask for reading from a credible source and I have read the CDC web page. There is NO evidence that the patients in the geriatric age profile had any benefit at all from a mandatory vaccination of all staff members. To further this, only pediatric patients are studied postmortem. I can get on board with this proposition if, and only if, postmortem evaluations are done on all populations to determine if the primary cause for hospitalization was NOT the true cause of death. The so called “science” behind the mandatory flu vaccine is not complete and data is only speculative. I am pleased to see that even you believe the flu shot to be imperfect, but lets consider the fact that those who get ill from the vaccine may also be compromised. Those who do have an immune system that IS strong enough to combat the flu without intervention should not need a vaccine. As for illness from the flu vaccine, the compounds must change every year and they do so without the proper double blind studies that are afforded other drugs in this country. As for the possibility of MS, yes it may be unlikely, but more so misdiagnosed as Guillain-barre in its mild form. You would be foolish to assume that the vaccine is safe every year. It is also long past time to realize that possibly Darwin was correct in his thoughts and intervention in the natural processes have led to a population that is losing their battle with the environment. MRSA and other uncontrolled diseases are the direct result of our need to intervene with the natural order. The push for antibacterial soap and cleaners to sanitize our homes prohibits the natural exposure to the environment. It is a group think mentality that is now broad sweeping and the belief that we can control the smallest organisms in our environment is absurd and possibly the cause of our ultimate demise. I think George Carlin said it best “we are all diseased” and it would be in our best interest to be exposed to it all in order to build our individual immune systems. Carlin was extreme in thinking that a daily swim in the Hudson river is the best medicine but he may not be too far off.

I just read the CDC site and it has exclusions for the vaccination of certain people (notice the key words — “the effectiveness or safety of LAIV is not known”; not to mention my mother is deathly allergic to eggs, which is a primary ingredient):

LAIV should also not be administered to people who are in the following groups because the effectiveness or safety of LAIV is not known:

Children aged <2 years or adults aged ≥50 years

*Pregnant women

*People with known or suspected immunodeficiency diseases or immunosuppressed states (including those caused by HIV)

*Children or adolescents receiving aspirin or other salicylates (because of the association of Reye syndrome with wild-type influenza virus infection)

*People who have other medical conditions that place them at increased risk for complications from influenza, including:

*Asthma or reactive airways disease

*Other chronic disorders of the pulmonary or cardiovascular system (except hypertension)

*Neurological/ neuromuscular diseases
Metabolic disease, such as diabetes mellitus

*Renal or hepatic dysfunction
Hemoglobinapathies

My mother is a clerk at a hospital and has diabetes, asthma and over 60; but despite those issues she keeps going and is relatively healthy. She has a slight neuropathy issue, but she manages. However her conditions put her under the "exempt" label, even by CDC standards. She is not responsible for direct patient care (shots, bedpans, etc.). The last "flu" vaccine she had … almost killed her due to her health issues. She has gotten sick more from the patients/family/visitors that came around her than her exposing patients. She sits at the nurses desk, does paperwork and answers phones (which cannot be effectively done with a mask). With the economy the way it is, she cannot afford to lose her job. I agree it should be voluntary. For those who suggest a mask, have you tried talking on the phone with a mask? Have you tried wearing one all day? Yes, patients have the right to a safe environment, but so do the employees.

What is the hospital going to pay me if my mother should die as a result of a required vaccine? Likely nothing. Are they going to "buy" me a new mother? No, that is impossible. Are they going to pay for her care or her expenses if she becomes too sick to work as a result? Again, no.

Patients should stay in their rooms and use the call light if they want their nurse, they should wear the masks — all the time; so should visitors, family and contract vendors. After all, how does a health care worker get sick? Usually from a sick patient. NOTHING is 100% effective. I agree vaccinate visitors, family and contract vendors prior to entering the facility — no papers, no entry.

As far as "conditions of employment". If you started at a place prior to a new policy, in most cases, you're exempt.

http://www.cdc.gov/flu/professionals/vaccination/vaccine_safety.htm (this is where I got my facts from)

Also, for the TIV vaccine: "In general, vaccinations should be deferred when a precaution is present. However, a vaccination might be indicated in the presence of a precaution because the benefit of protection from the vaccine outweighs the risk for an adverse reaction. This is left to the healthcare provider to make a decision." … Notice the LAST part … "This is left to the healthcare provider to make a decision."

Despite the so-called benefits, my mother's physician (highly respected in his field, director of his medical facility and teacher) is against her getting vaccinated due to the risks to her and has spoken to her hospital about it.

Perhaps those against the vaccine have already contacted their primary physicians … again … "This is left to the healthcare provider to make a decision."

Keywords: "might" "decide"

Thank you!

I am against mandating the flu vaccine for religious reasons as well as a violation of my rights. What policies are in place to prevent a HIV/AIDS employee from accidentally or intentionally sticking him or herself with a needle but going ahead and using it on a patient. Do all HIV/AIDS workers tell their employers? What about passages in the Bible that tells us this is wrong? Where do we stand as employees. It’s all about the dollar bill if you ask me

don’t move to Colorado then- our state health department has mandated it for all licensed healthcare facily workers – and to date, no one has found a religious exemption around it

Seriously? Go to the CDC website and research just how effective the flu shot is. The flu shot protects against 3 types of influenza ONLY, and the CDC reported that 86% of all sickness and illness, in which the flu shot WAS to protect you against, was reported as something other than influenza at all.

When you get sick, you have a 14% chance that your flu shot is going to protect you against any sickness at all. Getting sick after getting the flu shot? Could it be that maybe your not protected in the way you hope you might, yet you’ve exposed your body to all type of foreign substances.

How do you like those odds? Do some homework people, or does everyone just like going with the herd?

However if it is a condition of employment, is it worth your job given the current unemployment rate? Especially since it is a very safe injection- CDC DOES NOT LIE. Also in health care it is DEFINITELY A PATIENT SAFETY ISSUE.

I’m a Canadian whose wife works in Michigan and is about to be fired for refusing to inject her body with poison. How disheartening so see Americans who used to be famous for protecting the rights of the individual give them up to the drug lords. The shots are toxic, ineffective and are really about profit not your health. History will prove to be on the side of the naysayers. Many healthy people will suffer in the meantime. God bless America.

MIKE- WITH SO LITTLE RESPECT FOR THE USA YOUR WIFE NEEDS TO GO BACK TO CANADA TO WORK!!!! It is her choice to work in the USA & both of you are obvisously ill informed about influenza vaccine & paient safety. So, go back home!!!!

Marti, you’re in no position to comment on respect.
Yes she’s working in the USA and providing excellent nursing care to Americans in an area with a chronic shortage of nurses. I’d say both sides benefit. Let me throw this out for discussion. If a persons health is compromised to the point where they can’t fight off the flu, shouldn’t they be the ones to get the flu shot? Just saying.

if a mask is enough for Guillain-Barre’ workers9mild symptoms) or workers with egg allergies, then a mask should be enough for staff that choose not to take the flu shot,Who is willing to stand behind a Guillain-Barre’ worker getting fired? Will the flu bug skip the egg allergy person because he has egg allergies. Certainly not!

I am a long time nurse in Colorado, 26 years now. It will be the job that I lose and the work that I love. I’m a good nurse, I am ethical and hard working. I have always believed in my work. Not any longer. Sadly being forced to take a vaccine is the straw that will break this camel’s back. I will not inject poison into my body, I have an auto-immune disease and I firmly believe that further assaults to my body will not be a good thing for me. As a Christian I believe I have a religious exemption, my employers sees otherwise. CO is a work at will state. I am looking into alternative health options for work. Anyone need a holistic minded nurse as a good employee??!

By Ed Hotchkiss on October 18th, 2012 at 9:36 pm

Do you realize that there is aluminum and thermisol in those shots ? No proof that flu shots prevent the illness,they only weaken the immune system.If they are so concerned about you giving the flu to someone else that has already received the shot,it cannot be that effective in the first place.The only ones that make out are the pharmaceutical companies profit margin.Meanwhile your healthy immune system is compromised.Just think,if you received the shots ten years in a row you would have a much greater risk for Alzheimers. Oh,I forgot to mention that mercury is also in some of these shots.The F.D.A. should required to inform you of the dangers of this mal-practice. be

Actually there are no preservatives in the single dose vaccines and we do not use many multi dose vials where I work. No, the companies are not getting rich with influenza vaccine- you need to see all the RESEARCH in process to develop a a better & more comprehensive vaccine. The study on Alzheiners and autisim have been shown to be flawed and not good evidence-based ones but it is amazing how often they continue to be cited as a “cause for concern”. No one who does this ever thinks about patient safety in healthcare. Too bad- my father died at 48 of hospital acquired influenza. think about this for a change!!!!!

I support the hospital’s desire to maintain safety for both patients and staff. I cannot support the use of mandatory vaccinations to achieve the goal. The mandatroy administration of this is i direct violation of the Nuremberg Code !!

As someone who worked with survivors of the Nazi genocide in Germany in the late 60′s-early 70′s, I find your reference to the Nuremberg trials esp. reprehensible. You have no idea what this involved!!!!!

Marti, I now understand your stand on this issue. I do not wish to belittle your loss but you are advocating this vaccination from an emotional point of view and those of us in the medical environment look more to science for reason and answers. Did you ever think that your father’s influenza was caused by family or friends just as easily as a HCW ? I must also point out the falisy of your statement “the CDC does not lie”. It is a federal entity and is just as prone to cover-ups as any other faction. Please pull the fleece from you eyes long enough to evaluate this issue from all points of view.

I’m stunned by some of these comments. Since when is the federal government your friend? In Colorado, it’s a state law, to force vaccinations on health workers. That’s why the hospitals are demanding it. Next, it will be State and Gov workers, then all teachers, and students, then anyone who works anywhere. How many vaccinations will be required? First one, then just two, then whatever they want to force on you.
Having your system bombarded with 100,000 filthy virus’s, and bacteria DOES NOT BUILD UP YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM. This filth breaks down your immune system.
From what I’ve read, and heard, I believe this.
Can anyone out there guarantee what’s in those syringes? No, no one can, because they don’t know, because they didn’t make it. God only knows what’s in those things.
I will be unemployed at the end of this month, Dec 1, 2012 because of this. I am 62 years old, with no savings. I’ll bet you they block my unemployment because I refuse their filth. I have enough rent money for 2 months, and that’s it.
This is how strongly I feel about this.
My intuition is on red alert, and it’s saying “Run.”
I work in a hospital-linked environment, so I’m already familiar with your responses, since hospital workers, nurses et cetera think you are superior god-like beings, who know everything. So please don’t bother. I’ve heard it all before.

wow- I am equally stunned by the ignorance displayed here! Vaccines do build up the immune system. If you have no savings, what did you do with 40 years of work? Or, do you not want the government to run your life but expect them to pay for it? You are CHOOSING to be unemployed- no sympathy from many of us.

Geri T. you may find my reference to the Nuremberg Code reprehensible but my family are SURVIVORS! We do not want anyone to forget. We want eveyone to learn from history and not repeat it!
Nuremberg Code states in artcle 1 that consent should be voluntary and allow for “free power of choice without the intervention of any element of force,fraud, deceit, duress, over-reaching,or other ulterior form of constraint or coercion.”
I will be losing my job Dec 15th because I will not be forced into taking the flu vaccine. I applied for and exeption my doctor sign it. But it has to go before a board of their docs. Guess what it was declined.
Since flu shots only create antibodies against 3 strains found in the injections, flu vaccine do not guarantee an employee will not be sick and transmit illness to a 7YKApatient.
According to the CDC, a virus other than flu virus causes illness 86% of the time.Research at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore admitted “Our ability to predict which strain will circulate has not been great.We might as well have tossed a coin.” We need to stand up and fight this. We need a bill like Michigan is trying to pass. HB 5605. We need this in IND. Bill would repeal health care facility and agency workers from having a mandatory flu shot.

AJ I did not CHOOSE to be unemployed! I am being fired. Michele when they try to fight for your unemployment benifits tell them you were not fired because of your work . If you have and eval take it with you. Tell them it is because your are being forced to take the flu vaccine. Aj not everyone working in a hospital makes good money. Some make enough to get by. So you should not judge. I bet you are a board member on a hosptal forcing this on us. First it will be employees next patients. Then what no flu vaccine no insurance ect. Humm I study history and this reminds me of something.

In California there is a new television campaign that is pushing all people to ask if their healthcare worker has taken the flu vaccine. The group is ironically called “caring is our calling” and it is an alliance of California community hospitals. Why is this alliance spending capital to get the flu message out. I can not fathom where the drive for this flu vaccine is coming from. It seems that our government is on track for socialized medicine and we, the heathcare workers, are the lab rats. Impose vaccines on a select group of individuals and line them up for vaccination just as the military does to its new recruits. Push for electronic medical records by 2014 forcing the private sector to foot the bill. It is clear to me that the healthcare professions are on the way to being government run and controlled. These are just the first steps that allow our politicians control and the ever powerful big pharma is, in my opinion, the financial drive behind our issues. Just as our grandfathers were taught, and our fathers forgot, question everything. I demand transparency and need to follow the money driving this insane need to innoculate healthcare workers.

In Wisconsin you are forced to get a flu shot or your fired. We have no free speech in this country and now we are to take our medicine or starve. The government controls our very lives just bend over and take it. We have no say, no rights, no control, no liberties. We have truly become the saddest country on the planet allowing people to make every decision for us. It’s really a sad day.

Michigan has a House Bill 5605 Bill would repeal health care facility and agency workers frome having a mandatory flu shot!! We need to get this in every state. We need to all support these bills and get them passed. How can we get this bill into the Indiana State house?! Someone needs to help us!!

hopefully none of the bills to repeal vaccination of the HCW are ever passed. It amazes me how so many buy into the wrong and nonevidenced- based information out there. While this is one of the vaccines that is far from perfect it is not dangerous except to about 1% (at the most) of the population.

hopefully ever state will get a HB5605! we need more Doctor like Doug McGuff MD that speak out against flu vaccines.Philosopher Ayn Rand said it best”a value which one is forced to accept at the price of surrendering one’s mind, is not a value to anyone;the forcibly mindless can neither judge nor choose nor value. An attempt to achieve the food by force is like an attempt to provide a man with a picture gallery at the price of cutting out his eyes.” So even if there were a benefit to be had from flu vaccinatgion, it would be wrong to force us to have it. It is even worse when it is done with evidence to the contrary!

Geri…to some of us, the vaccine IS dangerous. I had to leave my job in November (was in nursing) because of the new mandates. I have 2 chronic diseases (sarcoidosis and diabetes)- and as such, if I take the flu shot, I will cause a serious flare of my condition (which I live with serious pain daily anyway) Can you imagine walking around with a mask over your face for 12 hours ? Not only that but the little fibers off of the mask are going to get into my lungs causing more problems.

I feel IF management is going to make HCW take the shot, then EVERYONE, visitor, vendor, ANYONE walking into that hospital MUST have the shot also. We are swallowing a camel and gagging at a nat. I can’t remember the last time I had the flu. . .and I’m not going to be forced to take something that could be dangerous to me. Would you, if you were in my place, take the risk ? Ask yourself that before you judge. I haven’t filed for unemployment but am thinking about it.

The argument of mandatory flu shots, even though free to employee, are not free to employer. I have read much on this through many medical outlets, and have to say that if the requirement was not in your “Condition of Employment” when hired, then no, they should not be able to fire you. The option or wearing a mask is nothing more than a personal harassment, because all medical personal knows wearing a mask by healthcare workers, or patients, do nothing in stopping the transmission of the virus.

In Colorado it was a requirement by the state health department that you could only get an exemption for a medical contraindication. That supercedes the agreement under which you might have been hired and allowed facilites to write it into the policy even for current employees. Masking if unable to take the vaccine was also in the regulation. So, not all of Tony’s points are valid. The attorney for the health department also declared it was valid due to the way regulaiton is delegatged to the health department by state legislature. While the department might get sued, the department would lilely prevail. Unless Tony is a lawyer with a specialty in business law I would not go by his “opinion” without further research. We are also a state that is not a “right-to-work” but rather an “at will” state as our 26 others at this point in time.

Excuse me- there are a total of 26 “at will states” so above should state “25 others” at this point in time.

The news is covering the flu this year and reporting that emergency rooms are full with a pandemic of flu cases. I wish the CDC would wake up and realize that the vaccination failed to do what it was intended to do. In my facility, there are many staff members who have recieved the flu vaccination and are sick with flu like symptoms but they ARE NOT staying home. Why? The sticker on their badge indicates they had the flu shot and therefore they are not a threat to their patients. It is a false security for the hospital, it’s patients and the general public. I say follow the money people. The FDA does not require double blind studies on the flu vaccination, the mercury based preservitive, which was banned years ago, is a part of the vaccine now and nobody is testing the population for adverse reactions. It is a cash cow free of retrubution and fault, add some media hysteria and you have the makings for a steady income base for big pharma evey year. Lets all follow the sheep to slaughter.

The posters on this forum supporting vaccines would appear to be trolls on assignment from Big Pharma.

Forcing vaccines onto people is quite literally assault with a deadly weapon. Impasse.

Maybe giving a patient a disease that is at least preventable in many people “assult with a deadly weapon”.

Check the CDC web page and realize that those who die from the flu while hospitalized were admitted for a host of diseases which on their own could have lead to the demise of the patient. The flu, regardless of who transmitted it, was just one more straw for the camel’s back. Ironically, the CDC has not made a push to reduce MRSA in the hospital systems. It is fact that MRSA can live on a dry surface for over 3 months and yet MRSA has such little press. Why, oh yeah, MRSA is hard to kill and can not be prevented by vaccine. Big pharma side steps this topic and so does the CDC. Again I ask why? Could it be that MRSA is not profitable? I still search for clinical evidence that proves the vaccination for influenza has any impact on the public or healthcare workers. Where is the scientific evidence that proves the vaccination is working? The contrary is occuring in America, There is a pandemic of flu cases which indicates the vaccine fell short of its goal.

To Steve
The overall effectiveness of the vaccine looks like it is about 62% but only about 59% of the population has been immunized.
Yes- many of the patients have other problems that lead to the admissiom but being exposed to influenza is the “tipping point” for them. It remains about patient safety. And, I have been part of several collaboratives that have successfully reduced MRSA HAI spread in my facilites. Your information has some inaccuracies.
I hope that one day we will have a universal influenza vaccine (also in research at this time). but right now, what we have is better than nothing.
Oh by the way- there are many research projects underway to look at a vaccine against Staph aureus & MRSA.

Universal influenza vaccine or whatever they come up with, it should still be my body my choice!! I had a doctor finally admit that the push on flu vaccine was not about patients..off record he admitted it was about financial penalty from our government payers.!!!Less the 90% compliance. They chose to frame this as a patient care issue. Forcing a professional to inject something into there body is profoundly immoral. Values can only exist when there is freedom of choice!

My daughter had this arise at her place of employment. She fought back by pointing out the low effect rate of the flu vaccine with some studies say it will only work 60% of the time. She made a point of saying if you can guarantee me that this flu shot will 100% protect me, then I will take it.. Next, she pointed out that if they were going to require all employees to have a shot, then it only made since to restrict access to the hospital to only those who have had the current flu vaccine. This includes delivery personnel, visitors, contractual doctors, etc. etc. anyone entering the building would need the shot or why bother just vaccinating the employees only. It only takes one person to bring the flu virus into a building, It is not specific to employees only. She pointed out that over half of their patients are not vaccinated so she asked if they were going to refuse to treat those without a current vaccine.. Well, needless to say, the hospital dropped the policy and it has never came up again..

I can only speak for myself, I have never got the flu, and I may get a slight cold within a few years I just never get sick. I have been in my home with people with the flu and colds and it never affects me. So my point is why take it when I don’t even get sick. I hate waring a mask for 12 hours at work I can’t even breathe with it on. There is always someone who wants to be in control and force people to do what they want at any given time.

My place of employment also requires that we get the flu vaccine or wear a face mask whether we have patient contact or not. However, employees who come to work sick and coughing that DO have patient contact (front desk receptionists)are not required to wear a face mask. What’s wrong with this picture?

my employer required me to get a flu shot or wear a face mask whenever i went into patient areas. i worked in administrative upstairs from where patients were. i got the flu shot. i became very sick one day after getting the flu shot and was out 3 days with severe vomiting/diarrhea. in january, i contracted the flu and have lost a week of work. i had never got the flu shot before and never had the flu. i will never let an employer force me to get a flu shot again. it’s my body. i urge you to read this article: http://tinyurl.com/mpqw788

 

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