No flu shot? Health workers pay price

  • Article by: LINDSEY TANNER , Associated Press
  • Updated: January 13, 2013 - 9:02 PM

Nationwide, hospitals are cracking down on their workers who refuse to get immunized against influenza. Some have been fired.

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keaton12Jan. 13, 13 9:57 PM

A relative of mine died from the flu while in a health care facility. Yes, get the flu shot! If you can't get the flu shot, do paperwork for 2 months.

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MellersJan. 13, 1310:06 PM

At first thought, even as liberal and health-concious as I am, I was thinking, "maybe they shouldn't be MANDATED to get the vaccine." Then I noticed there are reasons/ways to avoid it; I think they sign a waiver. But then I read further that they can refuse the shot and wear a mask, giving them their option. If they refuse BOTH options, then I have no sympathy for them; they should not work there. I would have no problem (as someone who gets the vaccine out of near necessity) being seen by a nurse with a mask.

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regionguyJan. 13, 1310:06 PM

There are a lot of things on which I don't agree with Art Caplan, but I do on this one. I have no problem with requiring healthcare workers to get a flu shot, and I would not want to be treated (or even seen) by one who didn't.

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northrnlitesJan. 13, 1311:00 PM

Cancer nurse refuses? No empathy for her patients when they have little to no immunity? The patients are likely relieved she's no longer doing their chemo treatments!

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rudo1212Jan. 13, 1311:15 PM

I work in a hospital and get a flu shot every year. It's free and convenient, so why not? (I'd even pay to get one if needed.) But I'm surprised by how many co-workers refuse to get one. Their reasons -- in my opinion -- are bizarre, ignorant, or downright dumb. The most popular? "I don't want to get sick" and "I don't believe in it?" Huh?

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thequyneJan. 13, 1311:40 PM

I was hospitalized twice in December. The LAST thing I needed was to contract the flu from a healthcare worker. I wouldn't have any problem being cared for by a nurse in a mask. If they don't want the vaccination, wear a mask. If you won't do either, then don't care for sick patients or healthy ones during flu season.

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motionbasedJan. 13, 1311:42 PM

According to impartial experts: Numerous reviews of the medical literature show there is a glaring absence of real benefit from yearly flu vaccines, and a majority of studies are of a questionable standard. Since 2005, a number of top quality analyses of the existing literature have concluded that effectiveness of flu vaccines is unproven in the vulnerable elderly and forced vaccination of healthcare workers doesn’t show a clear benefit to their patients. Health officials however, prefer to turn a blind eye to compelling evidence that flu shots are essentially worthless.Another Cochrane review led by renowned influenza specialist Dr. Tom Jefferson evaluated the effect of flu vaccines in multiple studies of over 70,000 healthy adults. They found that, “reliable evidence on influenza vaccines is thin but there is evidence of widespread manipulation of conclusions and spurious notoriety of the studies”. The team found that while flu vaccines have a modest effect on time off work, “there is no evidence that they affect complications, such as pneumonia, or transmission”. They found that inactivated vaccines, “caused local harms and an estimated 1.6 additional cases of Guillain-Barré Syndrome per million vaccinations”

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britishmumJan. 13, 1311:45 PM

Please become more educated before printing an article regarding the rarity of allergies: many people do have them thus cannot receive the necessary vaccination. Those who do have the allergy would appreciate it if others who do not have the allergy to the flu shot to please get it. This is helpful and considerate as the allergen culprit is egg in the vaccine and can be quite deadly.

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motionbasedJan. 13, 1311:51 PM

I highly suggest checking out what the Cochrane Collaboration has to say about flu shots. Forcing healthcare workers to risk harm to their bodies from side effects of flu shots due to decisions based on industry funded studies is just plain wrong. What the industry is selling is the illusion of safety and frankly that's all it is. Meanwhile, even the package insert for the flu vaccine discloses that it's effectiveness is not established. That should be enough to NOT force an injection into an unwilling persons body. The flu shot can and has caused harm. It's making the industry a lot of money though. You can bet on that.

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rayk1800Jan. 14, 13 1:30 AM

I'm with regionguy. I don't want to be cared for by someone that won't at least try to prevent the spread of Flu by getting the shot. No shot, don't care for patients.

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