Flu shots...mandatory at work!!!

buneknek

Cathlete
I have been working in a hospital for 12 years & never had flu shots. I got a letter from work saying that its mandatory that we get it now. There will be a process if you don't want to have it & if your wish is granted you will have to wear a surgical mask except lunch & breaks. I'm so mad!!! Does people have freedom of choice anymore or what? Last time I checked I could refuse something if I don't want it. I also know some people get sick from it. So MAD!
 

deineira

Cathlete
That stinks, Raciela. Did they even explain to you why they decided to take the extenuating measure of making the shots mandatory this year? I wonder if they have some logical reason why they are doing this out of the blue. I guess there is some out if you don't want to do it, but as a healthcare professional, it seems they would trust you to make an informed decision.

I'm sorry this is making you angry! That does seem like quite an infringement. But, as an HR person who also sometimes has to make things mandatory that my employees don't want to do, I know it happens sometimes.

Eva
 

fit_fairy

Cathlete
You cannot get influenza from the vaccine. If you are not immunized, you can transmit the infection to patients and it can be deadly (you can be contagious without overt signs of illness). That's why immunization is mandatory for healthcare workers. There's information about this issue on the CDC website (CDC - Seasonal Influenza (Flu) - Influenza Vaccination Information for Health Care Workers).
This is on spot. And I know you would feel terrible if you transmitted the flu to someone and they had a bad outcome. Looks like you do have a choice. Wearing the blue mask is the hospitals way of protecting the patients. That is their responsibility after all. You can not argue with wanting to do what is in your patient's best interest.
 

MichelleRN

Active Member
I'm a nurse but also yoga teacher and advocate of holistic adjunctive therapies and minimalizing medications at all cost..
Except my friend.....the flu WEAKENS your immune system...it plummets your white cell count and makes you a set up for every opportunistic infection out there for the rest of the season....from a conservative view point, it is unfair for the healthcare system to foot the bill from the massive complications influenza brings all season long,nor should employers have to cover the weeks of debility from it - and it is staggering what those costs were prior to the education of the public and the flu shot campaigns......from a liberal view point, folks have lobbied to make the vaccines available and affordable for the masses.
The flu evolved to control population....nature is quite darwinian and it would level inner cities and impoverished areas and devastate the more affluent...
Now it hits the elderly and those with respiratory problems with a vengeance.

It is not full proof, you need a few weeks to build immunity and yes you can get it during those weeks, but likely not as strong a case of it.

And while you have the choice, it isn't right for the rest of your co-workers to have to risk exposure from your choice, so the mask is a fair compromise....

I know this sounds dogmatic (and I am ANYTHING but)...but it is reality.....

I'd give you your shot! My shots don't hurt people say!

I was against all shots until I had Flu A back in 1995 and lost my pregnancy....and got pneumonia...and I am a critical care nurse! Lesson learned....did my research..
 

ElaineP

Cathlete
At the hospital I work at in the past you could sign a waiver and not get the shot but like your place of work had to wear a mask. This year it is mandatory unless you have had an adverse reaction to it. If you do not get the flu shot it will be grounds for termination. I always get the shot. Yes you can still get the flu even if you get the vaccine. The vaccine covers the strain of influenza that hit the population the hardest the previous year. The sick patients are always the most important people in a hospital and getting the flu shot protects them and gives them a better chance of recovery.

My son is allergic to eggs and therefore can not get the shot. One year in high school he got the flu. He also got Strep throat and bronchitis which triggered his asthma. He was quite sick. I do not want this to happen to anyone else,so yes everyone in my family,except him, gets the flu vaccine.
 
Elaine, the recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for influenza vaccine use in people with egg allergies have changed in recent years so that the type and severity of the reaction are taken into consideration and some people with only hives can be immunized without worry (http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/ed/imzupdate/downloads/egg-allergy-algorithm.pdf). In June, the CDC recommended the use of a new vaccine (Flublok) that is not produced in eggs for adults 18 years of age or older with allergies to eggs (CDC Online Newsroom | CDC Advisory | CDC advisory committee recommends an influenza vaccine option for persons with egg allergy). It currently is not an option for your son unless he is 18 or older. Multiple companies are working on new "cell-based" (i.e., not egg-based) vaccines. The age group for which products are approved depends on the groups they were tested in but so far appears to be 18 ahd older. These age ranges might be expanded in the future. Keep asking your doctor or pharmacist about your son's eligibility and the availability of these products each year. (I am a pharmacist, which is why I follow these things. I have no ties to the companies that make them.) Incidentally, the vaccines used in recent years were trivalent and protected against three strains of influenza (two A strains and one B strain chosen as you wrote based on recent trends in the disease) but several new vaccines this year are quadrivalent, which means they protect against four strains (two A and two B). I feel strongly that vaccines are an important weapon in fighting influenza, which is a preventable cause of illness and death.
 

KDSL

Active Member
I work in a health care setting, but have no direct contact with patients. Not sure if this is a standard thing, but I have to do a yearly TB test and had to do blood draws to prove I had all my shots, such as MMR. So I look at the flu shot as just one more thing I have to do.

I think it is becoming more and more common for hospitals to require the flu shot. When ours switched to mandatory, we got a list of other local and national hospitals that also have a mandatory program. The opt out for ours is pretty detailed. You need either an allergist or neurologist to sign off, or submit documentation from your religious leader about why you need a religious exemption.
 

Faithnveggies

Cathlete
Flu shots or mask in pt care areas are mandatory for hospitals in my area so I'd say its become the new standard. No shots No school (effectively no choice) has been around for a long time so the concept is old.
 

buneknek

Cathlete
My only concern is I don't know if I can handle wearing a mask 7hrs/day. Anybody here refused the flu shots & wear the mask instead?
 

kanga

Member
I have to ask, but what about visitors to the hospital that have not been immunized? Seems double standard to me to expect hospital personnel to have shots, but then let the public in that haven't been immunized. Just a thought.
 

buneknek

Cathlete
I have to ask, but what about visitors to the hospital that have not been immunized? Seems double standard to me to expect hospital personnel to have shots, but then let the public in that haven't been immunized. Just a thought.
Bingo!!! Also patients has the right to refused, why can't I? I hardy get sick I call in sick coz of my kids get sick. Having an option to wear a mask all day is really not an option. I tried to wear it just half an hour makes me dizzy, LOL! Breathing my own breath! I don't mind wearing them during patient care but to wear it pretty much 7hrs/day is ridiculous. I feel so sorry for the nurses that works there who does not want the flu shots.
 

UNLVCrjChick

Cathlete
I have to ask, but what about visitors to the hospital that have not been immunized? Seems double standard to me to expect hospital personnel to have shots, but then let the public in that haven't been immunized. Just a thought.
Completely different: it's not reasonable to expect the hospital to control the visitors' behavior outside of the hospital but it is reasonable to control their employees' behavior, just like at any job. I think it's disconcerting that there are health care workers who would be willing to put my health at risk by refusing to be immunized. If they don't like it, no one is forcing them to work in the industry. No wonder so many people get sicker when they go to the hospital! Why is requiring hospital employees to get immunized any different than requiring child care workers to get immunized?
 
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cab0899

Cathlete
Hospitals here will restrict visitors during flu outbreaks as you are right that you can't control whether visitors are immunized.
 

psusoccer17

Cathlete
i don't mean to be rude but what is the big deal, I assume they are paying for the immunization. I get one every year even though I no longer work in the health field. If you have ever had a bad case of the flu you would understand how miserable it is and would gladly get the immunization.
 
Hospitalized patients are vulnerable to a variety of potentially deadly infections, and staff should do whatever they can to prevent the transmission of infection (hand washing, etc). According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, immunization is the most effective means to prevent the spread of influenza. You cannot get influenza from the vaccine because it contains virus that is killed or weakened. Reports of illness shortly after immunization are coincidental and unrelated to the vaccine. For people who don't like needles, a nasal spray form of the vaccine is available, although you must be 2-49 years of age to receive it because that's the age group in which it was tested. In the recent past, some hospitals considered refusal of the vaccine by healthcare workers grounds for termination. Wearing a face mask is at least an alternative to termination. I am glad that hospital administrators take seriously their responsibility to protect the health of vulnerable patients.
 

Gibbee

Cathlete
The gym I belong to is affiliated with a hospital and they even require all trainers to be inoculated.
 

JeanneMarie

Cathlete
i don't mean to be rude but what is the big deal, I assume they are paying for the immunization. I get one every year even though I no longer work in the health field. If you have ever had a bad case of the flu you would understand how miserable it is and would gladly get the immunization.
This is what I was thinking too! I'm thankful for my flu shot. I wouldn't think of going without one. The alternative is NO FUN!
 

complik8td

Cathlete
i don't mean to be rude but what is the big deal, I assume they are paying for the immunization. I get one every year even though I no longer work in the health field. If you have ever had a bad case of the flu you would understand how miserable it is and would gladly get the immunization.
Not being rude here either. Some of us have no desire to be inoculated with toxic chemicals. Here is one article that gives a little insight into what comprises a flu vaccine, along with natural solutions for prevention and care: Flu Vaccine Warnings and Natural Solutions by Mike Adams of Natural News.

I have personally battled several bouts of respiratory illness this year, and I used to NEVER get sick. The one person who got me back on the road to good health is my naturopath. Herbal supplements, tea, the neti pot, and additional vitamins did the trick.
 

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