Should smallpox vaccinations be required for nurses involved in direct patient care?

  1. This question was asked by the moderators on another BB. It is running approximately 60/40 in favor of mandatory vaccination for nurses in direct patient care. That is the only question and no opportunity for discussion was available.

    In light of what I see as so many cons, I was surprised that so many people are for it. I posted a request for reasons why a person voted as they did, but got few responses. I can't help but wonder if it is a knee-jerk reaction to fear or ignorance that caused those in favor of it to vote this way.

    Therefore, while I am interested in all responses, I am especially interested to hear some reasons why you would vote for this vaccination. I am especially interested, because these reasons may be why I am eventually forced to accept a vaccine I don't want. So enlighten me please!
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  2. Poll: Should smallpox vaccinations be required for nurses involved in direct patient care?

    • YES

      54.17% 13
    • NO

      45.83% 11
    24 Votes
  3. 15 Comments

  4. by   RNPD
    My vote was no. Smallpox vaccinations are umpleasant to say the least. Site is highly contagious. There are so many immunocompromised people around nowadays-most that we come in contact with every day and yet have no awareness of their status. The vaccine must be given with exceptional technique to be effective-no one has that expertise anymore. Even when effective the sites are so highly contagious that I truly believe the nurse needs to be away from patient care until the risk of contamination is past-probably 2 weeks. And what is the likelihood that we will come in contact with undiagnosed smallpox-especially for non-ER personnel? And even then, the vaccine is effective if administered soon after exposure (within 4 days). For that matter, what is the likelihood of a terrorist using smallpox, when there are so many other biologic and/or chemical agents available (most of which have NO available vaccine!).

    It takes about a week for the site to get to a point where it can be read to see if it "took", about another week to heal. It must be cleaned daily and covered at all times during the healing process. It is extremely itchy. It will ooze and that discharge is full of smallpox and can be transmitted not only to other areas of your own body, but also to other people, especially children, the elderly, and the immunocompromised. There are also possible complications, such as cellulitis and secondary infection, and some people may actually develop full blown smallpox.

    Experts say 15 people out of every million vaccinated for the first time will face life-threatening complications and one or two will die."

    (That translates to about 600 deaths and 2000 brain injuries from encephalitis if the entire US population is vaccinated-more if the entire world needs vaccination).
    Last edit by RNPD on Oct 22, '02
  5. by   Vsummer1
    I am a bit naive as to the pros and cons of the actual vaccination itself, but I voted yes. Of course, if I knew more about this I would be able to make a more informed decision. This vote was "off the cuff".

    I consider that I may be on the front line should a case emerge and would want to be protected. Pretty simple to me, but I also get my flu, have had pneumonia and of course the hep A & B, MMR, chicken pox, etc.

    Just seems the old "ounce of prevention" thing. I think I need to educate myself on this issue though, so thank you for promoting it!
  6. by   RNPD
    Thanks for your vote and your reply Val. And also for admitting that this vote was "off the cuff". I hope you will do a web search on smallpox, and let me know if your opinion changes after you read some of the facts. This may turn out to be a very important issue. Thanks again!
  7. by   Brownms46
    My first reaction was NO, and it was a knee jerk reaction, because I have very little knowledge about the small pox vaccine, but here is a link to help those like myself:

    http://mercola.com/2002/jun/12/smallpox_update.htm

    http://www.bt.cdc.gov/agent/smallpox...tion/facts.asp

    After reading the information on these sites...My response is even more of a definite NOOOOOOO!

    OOPs...sorry... All fixed now I hope
    Last edit by Brownms46 on Oct 23, '02
  8. by   RNPD
    Thanks Brownie. The CDC fact page is a good one for info. But you added a period at the end of the addy. Could you edit your post to delete it, please? It works just fine w/o the period!
  9. by   Brownms46
    Sorry RNPD...I have fixed it..
  10. by   RNPD
    Thanks, Brownie-working fine now! I liked them so much, I added both your links to my thread at the other BB! Hope you don't mind!

    Now if I could only figure out how to add those darn smilies to my posts!!
  11. by   Brownms46
    :chuckle...I don't mind at all. Not a problem. I know what you mean about the smilies... And you're welcome! Geeze I can't talk tonite...I think it's time for bed...:chuckle
  12. by   caroladybelle
    I am one of those wonderful 60's military brats that they used as guinea pigs for vaccinations (including BCG). I have a record of five injections for smallpox...before it "took". They were also of varying types.

    Does anyone know whether it still would act as a smallpox preventative?
  13. by   renerian
    Looks like we are neck and neck. Good poll and thread.....

    renerian
  14. by   Youda
    While the powers-that-be were worried about smallpox, anthrax was used instead. While the powers-that-be were worried about smallpox, West Nile Virus was used instead. Perhaps instead of "all" healthcare workers, a modified immunization would be more appropriate. Those in the military, those at or near a port-of-entry, such as New York, who would be more likely to encounter someone coming into the US who is infected . . . I guess being prepared is good, but I just can't work up a lot of frenzy about 'what ifs.' I have enough trouble worrying about things that already is.
  15. by   OBNURSEHEATHER
    I think that if there were a threat, a confirmed outbreak, then I would want it. In fact, I believe I heard somewhere that health care workers would be the first ones to get it.

    But right now, today? Nope.

    Heather

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