The Controversy: Mandatory Flu Vaccines - page 94

First, let me just go over some of the symptoms of the flu, and then we will get down to business on the controversy surrounding the push to create mandatory flu vaccines for healthcare workers: ... Read More

  1. by   Horseshoe
    Quote from BostonFNP
    Lay people quite often don't understand this concept, they simply make assumptions based on how they feel, and broadcast it on the internet. For them the natural immune response after a vaccination feels like illness so they say they "got the flu".

    We all know, outside of the LAIV flu vaccine, that the antigens in the flu vaccine can not cause actual influenza illness.
    Apparently some "retired RNs" don't understand it either.
  2. by   Kay r.n.
    Do not take flu vaccine. Had GBS I feel singled out having to wear a mask.
  3. by   jwestonrn75
    1) Do you take the flu vaccine yearly? If you do not, what is the reason you do not participate (if you don't mind answering this question)?
    Yes, but have a fundamental issue about it as I don't believe it should be mandatory to put something into your body. I receive it because there are other battles that are more important.

    2) Does your employer have a mandatory influenza vaccination policy as a condition of employment? If yes, where do you work?
    No, but strongly suggested, must have meeting with director and CNO explaining your refusal.

    3) What concerns do you have about the flu vaccine?
    I understand that the flu mutates constantly, but don't believe a yearly vaccine is the answer. Every year they make an educated "guess" as to the strains to put in the vaccine. What concerns me is that there is little research going on to make the current vaccine protocols obsolete. For example, all strains in one vaccine, or a longer lasting vaccine (2-5year). If they find there is no way other than this, I'd be less concerned. Just feel like they are stagnant and leads me to believe a follow the money scenario.

    4) Do you know if anyone who has been released from their job because they did not get the flu vaccine?
    Not that I am aware of.
  4. by   Jlacl7
    1. Do you receive the flu vaccine yearly? Yes. I have asthma and am IgA deficient, so the benefit definitely outweighs any risks.
    2.Does your employer have a mandatory influenza vaccination policy as a condition of employment? If yes, where do you work? Yes. The only exceptions are medical and religious.It is a medium sized hospital in eastern North Carolina.
    3. What concerns do you have about the flu vaccine? The recent lack of a good match to the circulating virus.
    4. Do you know of anyone who has been released from their job because they did not get the flu vaccine? Not currently
  5. by   nursej22
    I can't believe this thread has risen from the dead. Zombie Flu Thread! Run for Your Lives!

    Also, I have had yearly flu shots for at least 10 years and have never had the flu. And I have cared for exceptionally sick people. Thank you science.
  6. by   BostonFNP
    Quote from jwestonrn75
    I understand that the flu mutates constantly, but don't believe a yearly vaccine is the answer. Every year they make an educated "guess" as to the strains to put in the vaccine. What concerns me is that there is little research going on to make the current vaccine protocols obsolete. For example, all strains in one vaccine, or a longer lasting vaccine (2-5year). If they find there is no way other than this, I'd be less concerned. Just feel like they are stagnant and leads me to believe a follow the money scenario.
    There is lots of ongoing research, both corporate and academic.

    I wanted to summarize how the yearly influenza vaccine works in terms of basic science to help folks understand why it is currently done the way it is done. I apologize to anyone that considers this a rudimentary lesson, but I think it is important for all nurses to have a basic understanding that they can help convey to patients.


    • Influenza is a single-stranded RNA virus. RNA viruses, as we know from our basic biology and genetics coursework, is far more susceptible to mutation (about 100 times more) than DNA viruses, which in turn are far more likely than mutations in eukaryotic cells.
    • Influenza virus is classified into influenzavirus A, influenzavirusB, and influenzavirus C and D. The primary concerns of influenza in humans is A and B. Influenzavirus B infects only humans (and seals) and, as such, does not undergo significant changes season to season.
    • Influenza virus has a surface that is studded by glycoproteins: these proteins are called hemagglutinin (HA) and neuraminidase (NA) and they have a large role in the ability of the influenza virus to cause infection and the ability of the virus to change hosts and spread (create a pandemic). These two proteins form the "lock" portion of the influenza virus or the antigens: once exposed to these proteins the body produces a specific antibody "key". If the body is re-exposed to this "lock" the "key" will fit it and the antibodies will prevent infection. This is why flu viruses are referred to by the H and N subtypes: H1N1 (Spanish or swine flu) or H5N1 (Bird flu).
    • Both influenza A and influenza B viruses undergo antigenic shift and antigenic drift. As above, influenza B does not change much due to lack of hosts (and a slower replication rate) and has only two circulating variants (B/Yamagata and B/Victoria). This leaves the majority of the variability of human influenza illness to influenza A.
    • Influenza A undergoes antigenic drift. Drift is slow and progressive changes to the influenza A antigens. These changes results in influenza virus that is close/similar "lock" to previous viruses. Because they are similar, there is some cross-protection, ie. the "key" is close enough that it still functions. Year to year these changes become significant and the "key" will no longer fit. This is relative predictable over the course of time. Antigenic drift is the reason that you need a new flu shot every year.
    • Influenza A undergoes antigenic shift. Shift is an abrupt change in HA or HA+NA caused by the combination of two (or more) different subtypes of the influenza virus that results in a significant antigen/"lock" change. These major "lock" changes means your "key" no longer works at all. These changes are responsible for influenza pandemics because they may render vaccination obsolete. Antigenic shift is the reason that flu shots vary year-to-year in efficacy.
    • The trivalent vaccine covers the predicted (via antigenic drift) influenza A strains of H1N1 and H3N2 along with the predominant influenza B strain. Quadrivalent vaccine adds coverage for the other influenza B strain.


    I use the crude analogy that from year to year you may need to update they key to your house as the lock/key get worn down over time but that doesn't save you if your significant other/roommate has a sudden change of heart and completely changes the locks on you. While we can take ever precaution your sig-o doesn't have that change of heart (wash your hands, wear masks) it doesn't mean we just let our current key wear out!

    If anyone wants more in-depth, shout and I can try to help (or perhaps a virologist specialist could )
    Last edit by BostonFNP on Nov 14
  7. by   cherterra

    #110
    Aug 26, '15by emtb2rn
    1. Do you take the flu vaccine yearly? If you do not, what is the reason you do not participate (if you don't mind answering this question)?

    No. I check with the CDC site to find out what virus strains they are aiming at. If they are mostly the same as the previous year, I don't get the shot, otherwise, I do.

    2. Does your employer have a mandatory influenza vaccination policy as a condition of employment? If yes, where do you work?

    No.

    3. What concerns do you have about the flu vaccine?

    That too many people persist in the idea that the vaccine gives them the flu even though I tell them and they can read that the strains are dead, not live.

    4. Do you know if anyone who has been released from their job because they did not get the flu vaccine?

    No


  8. by   BbBaker
    1)__ Do you take the flu vaccine yearly? If you do not, what is the reason you do not participate (if you don't mind answering this question)?

    Yes

    2)__ Does your employer have a mandatory influenza vaccination policy as a condition of employment? If yes, where do you work?

    Yes, but I would take every year with or without a mandatory policy.

    3)__ What concerns do you have about the flu vaccine?

    That too many people do not take it for unreasonable/irrational reasons, putting too many vulnerable people at unnecessary risk of hospitalization/death.

    4)__ Do you know if anyone who has been released from their job because they did not get the flu vaccine?

    No, but I fully support an employer's right to dismiss non-compliant (except those with medical, well documented, contraindications) staff.

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