Mandated Flu vaccine? - page 3

Hi- Just received a blanket email yesterday that my hospital in VA is requiring ALL STAFF involved in patient care to get the flu vaccine this year. (incl nurses, physicians, clinical aides etc) I... Read More

  1. by   SuesquatchRN
    Quote from Rodoon
    Yes, but it wasn't mandated I volunteered. This thread is about mandated flu shots or its job over. So, for the record. Most flu shots have three strains, H1N1 the one known to have symptoms is in almost all of them. (Believe me I check). Every once in a while a flu shot didn't have it before the 2009 pandemic. Now, after 09 it will be in all shots for years.

    Hospitals don't stop children from visiting and they are the hands down superspreaders of flu; not nurses.

    "Known to have symptoms" to whom?
  2. by   Esme12
    Quote from Maliffy
    The hospice that I work for is also considering mandating the vaccine for all clinical and social service staff in direct patient contact. I can see the logic in it, but there are some other things that employers are not considering.

    Every year I choose not to get a flu vaccine because I have a history of not so great reactions to them. I don't have details, but I did poorly after all my childhood immunizations. I never had chicken pox as a kid, and almost flunked out of nursing school when I missed a week after my varicella vaccine. That was fun...sorry, can't come out and play, I have the chicken pox. (I was 25.) If a vaccine has the potential to cause viremia, I get it, and bad too. Hence after my second bad flu shot experience, I have chosen to "work without a net" as it were.

    When I suggested to my employer that I would be willing to get a flu shot IF they agreed in writing that any time I missed as a result of receiving the vaccination would be paid, and would NOT be deducted from my available sick/vacation time, they looked at me as though I had finally lost my mind. Sorry, but I feel it is completely unreasonable to mandate I (or anyone else) do something that has a likelyhood of causing them to miss work, and then penalize them for it if they do. My sick leave is for when I get sick, not for when they make me sick. I'm not sure how bigger employers are handling that concern, but it IS something worth considering.
    ...should be covered under workmans comp....
  3. by   SuesquatchRN
    canesdukegirl, the vaccine protects against three strains and is reformulated every year to protect us against those strains the virologists determine are most likely to strike.
  4. by   Esme12
    Quote from Bill E. Rubin
    Actually, my big Boston hospital doesn't require it, but strongly encourages it and does require opt-outers to wear a mask after the first case of flu hits the hospital. I think it's a reasonable request to protect the patients (and staff from each other). As someone mentioned earlier, we are required to be immunized against MMR, hepatitis, etc. I happily get my free flu shot every year.
    I live out here too and there are 3 so far that are mandating with suspension and/or termination for failure to comply....and it was on the news

    Two Boston hospitals mandating flu shots for workers

    The two, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Children’s Hospital Boston, are part of a 10-hospital coalition that pledged in July to adopt policies “as quickly as logistically feasible” to mandate seasonal flu vaccines for all health care workers “as a condition of employment.”

    It’s a critical patient safety issue,” said Dr. Alan Woodward, past president of the Massachusetts Medical Society and a member of the state Public Health Council, an appointed panel of doctors, consumer advocates, and professors that is scheduled to debate today how to get more workers vaccinated.

    Hoping to boost statewide rates, the 10-hospital coalition called the Eastern Massachusetts Healthcare Initiative, in July adopted a statement in which member hospitals agreed to develop mandatory vaccination policies for all health care personnel, with approved medical exemptions as the only exception.

    Included in that coalition are Boston Medical Center, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Lahey Clinic, Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, Massachusetts General Hospital, Tufts Medical Center ,and Winchester Hospital.
  5. by   mo2rn
    Quote from blondy2061h
    Hospitals mandate all kinds of vaccines and no one gets up in arms about being required to get a hepatitis b vaccine. I don't get how this is any different.

    NYS did try and mandate every nurse in the state to get the flu vaccines two years back, but pulled the mandate not due to principle issues, but because the supply of the h1n1 vaccine was insufficient to even vaccinate the people that wanted it, much less those that didn't want it.

    Every year my job requires the flu vaccine or else you wear a mask from October 1 to April 1.

    I believe just as patients has a right to refuse so does nurses after all nurses are citizens of this country also. And NYSNA went to court in an effort to stop the mandatory vaccination on H1N1
  6. by   NRSKarenRN
    Last edit by NRSKarenRN on Sep 17, '11
  7. by   Rodoon
    I understand when it comes to flu shots I'm in the minority. I'm okay with that. But as an American I like to consent to taking medicines and that includes flu shots. The recent rules indicate a mandate. Here's the problem: The majority that don't get sick from flu vaccines or experience scary symptoms as I did, are forcing the minority (people like me) to participate in order to keep their job. History is full of the majority mandating to the minority and it goes by the word--discrimination. Hospitals should be mandated by law if they require the flu shot that they provide all medical treatment and pay for those that get sick from it. When that happens, I'll shut up.
  8. by   betterlatethennever
    My hospitak in northern california is mandating flu vaccines. I've got them before but didn't like the side effects to the vaccine (flu-like symptoms) for several days after. I feel it should be my decision whether or not a vaccine is given to me. I understand the importance of having people get flu shots but on the other hand I understand there is a risk to everything. If you are a generally healthy person getting the flu shouldn't kill you just lay you out for a wk It.makes you wonder if the manufactors of the vaccine are trying to make bigger profits
  9. by   Bill E. Rubin
    The hospitals really aren't that interested in protecting us healthy people from getting sick. They are concerned with us getting infected with the virus and by the time we show symptoms, have already spread it to frail, sick patients who could die from it. That's why they require the masks (whatever the source of the above link, Massachusetts General Hospital does not require vaccination and does not intend to, but requires a mask for those who refuse). The shot of course isn't perfect, and some strains may mutate beyond coverage, but it prevents many cases of flu, and thus may save a life or two of a vulnerable patient.
  10. by   mpccrn
    Perhaps if nurses didn't have to use our vacation time when we get sick, we'd stay home and prevent passing on illness to our patients!
  11. by   blondy2061h
    So do ya'll refuse PPD's also?

  12. by   blondy2061h
    Quote from canesdukegirl
    I haven't gotten the flu shot...ever. I can't see the logic in getting a vaccine for a virus that mutates. I understand that influenza is an RNA virus and has a lower chance of mutation. However, influenza continues to evolve because of its ability to 'hybridize', much like the Bird Flu, or H1N1. At that point, the antibodies that we receive from the vaccination don't protect us from the mutated protein because the RNA molecules have been restructured.

    I further understand that the hybrid mutation that I am describing is rare. I totally understand getting Hep B vaccinations, Typhoid, Dengue Fever, etc. (I travel to poor, tropical and densely populated areas for charity work.) But the influenza virus can also mutate either one or both of the H and N antigens-which is NOT a rare occurrence.

    Can anyone help me change my mind about this? I feel that I am one of the last holdouts in getting the flu shot. I just can't understand the sense in getting a vaccination for a virus that mutates. Oh, and could you please go easy and not flame me too much? I am already toasted on one side...
    The statistics really kind of speak for themselves. Even if not "optimally matched" you're still way less likely to catch it than without the vaccine

    Quote from CDC
    Overall, in years when the vaccine and circulating viruses are well-matched, influenza vaccines can be expected to reduce laboratory-confirmed influenza by approximately 70% to 90% in healthy adults <65 years of age. Several studies have also found reductions in febrile illness, influenza-related work absenteeism, antibiotic use, and doctor visits.

    In years when the vaccine strains are not well matched to circulating strains, vaccine effectiveness can be variably reduced. For example, in a study among persons 50-64 years during the 2003-04 season, when the vaccine strains were not optimally matched, inactivated influenza vaccine effectiveness against laboratory-confirmed influenza was 60% among persons without high-risk conditions, and 48% among those with high risk conditions, but it was 90% against laboratory-confirmed influenza hospitalization (Herrera, et al Vaccine 2006). A study in children during the same year found vaccine effectiveness of about 50% against medically diagnosed influenza and pneumonia without laboratory confirmation (Ritzwoller, Pediatrics 2005). However, in some years when vaccine and circulating strains were not well-matched, no vaccine effectiveness can be demonstrated in some studies, even in healthy adults (Bridges, JAMA 2000). It is not possible in advance of the influenza season to predict how well the vaccine and circulating strains will be matched, and how that match may affect the degree of vaccine effectiveness.
  13. by   wooh
    Quote from blondy2061h
    So do ya'll refuse PPD's also?

    Not allergic to the PPD. And if I was, my workplace will settle for me telling them that I am allergic and go to x-rays instead. Not bully me into having a reaction on a yearly basis.

    I wore the mask last flu season. It really wasn't that bad. In fact, I had the fewest sniffles of anyone on my unit. (The vaccinated may not have been spreading around flu, but I didn't spread around flu or RSV or adeno or...)
    RSV will kill an infant just as quick as flu. But we don't mandate RSV vaccinations for everyone because it's too expensive. Wearing the mask and handwashing protects the patients from more than just flu.