I hate it, and am really upset about it. This is the first year our hospital is mandating it, and is offering the option to wear the mask if you don't get a shot due to a religious or allergy exemption. I have neither .. .I just am philosophically opposed so I'm not sure what my consequences would be.
I don't believe the science is there to support it. They say the flu shots now only offer about a 60% chance of protection. There are no long-term studies on the effects of mandatory vaccination on flu incidence ... I mean, there is just not enough information, in my opinion, to force this on any healthcare worker.
And why would I go to work sick??? If I even felt as if I was coming down w/ something, I'd excuse myself and go home.
I've never had a flu shot, and I've never had the flu, the entire time I've been a nurse. Everyone else on staff who gets the shot, always seems to take off a day or two due to BEING SICK or at least feeling the immunity building effects of the shot.
I feel it's a violation of my own rights and duty as a healthcare professional, to also take care of myself in a way that I believe is right for me.
If we are washing our hands, if we are not actively coughing, sneezing, or spitting on someone ... how can we be spreading it? Do the masks truly prevent it, then, if it's easily spread airborne through workers w/ pro-dromal symptoms? At what point are we contageous? My healthcare system does nothing to answer these questions.
I say follow the money. Vaccines are big business, as are the reimbursements hospitals likely receive from mandating it for employees. I think the goal to reduce the flu is virtuous, but I don't feel they take OUR rights into consideration. This is a substance they are injecting in MY body ...patients have the right to refuse -- why don't I as a nurse/doc/health care professional?
I also think the mask thing is punitive and stigmatizing, and we dont' even know if they are effective ....so why make people wear them?
I'm likely going to resign from my job at the end of the month. I don't care for my job too much right now, and have interviews for other jobs, so hopefully it will all turn out ok. Otherwise, I'll be out of a job right before Christmas.
I have been doing some research, and the program I'm under is obviously being implemented through my own private sector hospital system. I'm not sure about my state laws ..but I'm going to find out.