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Forces Work to Make Flu Shot Mandatory for Healthcare Workers

26th February 2007 by Arrow Durfee Posted in Uncategorized

This article comes from the following:

Ethics of Vaccines
Penn University of Pennsylvania
Center For Bioethics
Vaccine News and Commentary From the
Ethics of Vaccines Project
At the University of Pennsylvania Center of Bioethics

Growing support for health care worker flu vaccine mandate

The Infectious Diseases Society of America released a report on Thursday calling for mandatory influenza vaccination of all health care workers. Here’s the press release from the IDSA. An excerpt:
“‘It’s our professional duty to first do no harm,’ said Andrew T. Pavia, MD, chair of IDSA’s National and Global Public Health Committee. ‘Voluntary systems haven’t brought immunization rates up far enough. For the sake of our patients, all health care workers must get a flu shot every year or they must be required to opt out in writing.’”
This position was part of a larger report looking at many aspects of seasonal and pandemic influenza planning and response. There’s an important caveat, however. The IDSA recommendation allows for health care workers to decline vaccination, provided they do so in writing, a provision likely motivated by practical reasons rather than sound medical or public health reasoning.

CIDRAP News covered the announcement, quoting our own Art Caplan and David Curry’s op-ed in the San Jose Mercury News, which he previously noted here.

Today’s Boston Globe picked up on the IDSA position in an editorial today titled “The best shot at fighting the flu.” They write:
“One step in getting all health providers at or close to 100 percent is the new policy of the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations to require that they at least offer flu shots to all workers. But full compliance will come only through action by Congress and Health and Human Services. A flu shot mandate is one of the most effective steps the nation could take to prepare for a pandemic and, at the same time, reduce the annual toll of the flu virus.”

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3 Responses to “Forces Work to Make Flu Shot Mandatory for Healthcare Workers”

  1. Arrow Durfee Says:

    Well, it will be over my dead body! Having worked in the healthcare arena for a long time and having taken a few flu shots myself and having worked with numerous other healthcare providers over the years and watched them use the flu shot and succumb to the flu while I declined and went unscathed, I feel quite safe in saying that the flu shot is worthless. And you know, I’m not all that healthy, so I don’t want to give the misrepresentation that I’m some sort of superwoman, because I am not.

    The flu shot is merely wishful thinking for those who fear disease. Hey, not that I don’t get ancy when weird stuff comes around.

    When the flu comes around to resident health facilities and hospitals people do die. That is clear. I have often throught that the stats on flu related disease is not well reported on the national levels. I don’t know where all the national statistics come from and how they GUESS that 30, 000 or 100,000 die from the flu in any given year. Certainly no place I have worked has made reports on flu related death to anyone.

    The flu is a serious disease for the young, especially the young and medically frail and the elderly and for anyone medically compromised. Nothing to mess around with, certainly. I do think that the cure is in prevention but the prevention is not a flu shot. The prevention is a good daily regimen of hygiene, good diet, proper vitamin supplementation and then a prayer that you can measure up to the virus that is coming your way.

    Most flu associated deaths are not from the actual flu itself but from extended and protracted disease complicated by the flu. For example, pneumonia in someone who had poor respiratory status, poor air movement, poor diet, bedridden or who has a history of lung diseases. Or it can certainly take those with the common diagnosis of failure to thrive, who suffer from weight loss, usually of unknown cause, eats poorly, etc. Other people highly susceptible to death by flu are those with severe cardiac or kidney disease and of course this is all accentuated in the elderly.

    The question is: Do we risk a whole population to try to save the few? Do we sufficiently understand the effects of vaccination? Do we understand the genetic ramifications of trying to control such common disease with drugs and attenuated protiens?

    Does anyone remember the flu of 76 or 77? Or rather I should say, does anyone remember the flu shot of 76 or 77? ( the year stated was to the best of my mothers recollection) My Mom who herself was a dedicated healthcare worker dutifully took her flu shot that year then was taken down by paralysis for about 3 weeks. It was a fearful time. No one knew if she would ever walk again. Thank God it wore off but in that year it did not wear off for others. The paralysis remained. (Ah, the dirty details they don’t want you to know) Could this have been Guillain Barre Syndrome? Below is a blurb from the Mayo Clinic.

    Guillain Barre Syndrome affects an estimated one to three in every 100,000 persons annually in the United States. It can strike any race at any age, but its incidence increases with age. GBS may occur within days or weeks after a viral infection such as influenza (flu) or diarrhea. It may be triggered by pregnancy or a medical procedure, such as a vaccination or minor surgery, or have no evident reason for developing. Because the cause of GBS is unknown, there’s no way to prevent the disease from occurring.

    Now some like to say that this syndrome is caused by the flu but my Mom says no! She didn’t have the flu. What she had was the flu shot. It was what was reported to be happening that year. The flu shot caused paralysis in some.

    Remember, guillain barre syndrome is not a disease in and of itself. It is a syndrome. They do not know the exact cause, but of course, they are sure its caused by something.

    Now, this nasty syndrome, I believe is not just confined to association with the flu shot. I had the opportunity to watch a teenage boy die in the ICU of Childrens Hospital in Dallas, Texas. The diagnosis was Guillain Barre. No flu had occurred. The doctors suspected that it was caused by a polio vaccination he had received a week or two earlier. The young man died of respiratory failure. I am unclear of his mental status but he did appear to be in a coma or sedated. They eventually decided to take the ventilator support off and he died a few minutes later.

    BTW, although mercury has been removed from most childhood vaccines it remains in the flu vaccine.

  2. Tatiana Says:

    Searched healthcare in msn but for some reason found this page.great info

  3. Arrow Durfee Says:

    Yep, and now flu shots are going to be mandatory for children in New Jersey or they can’t go to school and if they don’t go to school parents get arrested.

    BEWARE! I have heard that this year’s flu shot, ’08, will have genetically modified materials in it. More very serious reason for concern and even fear!