Refusing the Influenza Vaccine

  1. This may have already been talked about... so I apologize. I tried searching for a similar thread, but couldn't find one. I received my acceptance letter yesterday, with a date of June 1st to complete my health related requirements (i.e., vaccines, medical insurance, etc.). One of the requirements posted on the paperwork is the annual Influenza vaccine. I don't want the vaccine, and have no intention of getting it. I'm fully vaccinated for everything else, except Influenza. I won't start the whole mess of trying to explain my reasoning of not wanting the vaccine (it's a personal choice, and there's no need to start those arguments)... I just need to find out if anyone is in the same boat and if they successfully refused.
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    Joined: Jan '12; Posts: 29; Likes: 22


  3. by   jennabean55
    The nursing program I was in did NOT require us to receive the influenza vaccine, it was optional. We were required the basics (Hepatitis B, MMR, DTaP; if not the vaccine, then the titers). We also needed a physical, TB test, background checks, and finger printing. Now that I think of it, it was a LOT of work! Haha. Needless to say, as far as I know, the influenza vaccine is NOT required and I believe that there might be an affidavit that you can sign for religious or personal beliefs exempting you from receiving the vaccine. Look into it. Centers for Disease Control has a lot of great information, so educate yourself. Hope everything goes well!
  4. by   loriangel14
    My school didn't require the flu shot to begin classes but our clinical sites did.No exceptions.One person tried to refuse but to no avail. She got the shot.
    My employer doesn't make us get the shot but if you don't and there is an outbreak you can't work until it is over.
    Last edit by loriangel14 on May 12, '12
  5. by   Feistn
    This is probably a losing battle. If you make waves before you've even started classes, you could put yourself on the bad side of some faculty. I'd be willing to bet this is not optional, and if you don't do it, they might tell you to consider another program.
  6. by   CT Pixie
    We are only required to get the flu shot when we start clinicals. I believe you have to have the vaccine by 12/1.

    You can refuse if you want..for any reason (allergy, personal belief, whatever) and you don't have to give them a reason. However, if you do refuse in order to participate in clinicals you MUST wear a mask when within 6 feet of any patient which really comes down to wearing a mask constantly while in the hospital and that mask must be worn from 12/1 until the end of the CDC determined 'flu season'.

    I had been getting yearly flu vaccines. But one year, around 5 years ago, my arm had a horrid reaction. It blew up, was really red and it was sore for WEEKS so sore in fact it really did impede my ROM. Thought maybe it was just a badly placed vaccine. The next year I got the vaccine and again same reaction..but worse..the next year again..same thing and worse than the last. My doc has no real explaination for the reaction but he did suggest I not get it any more. I haven't gotten one in the last two year. I have clinicals that will start in September. Constantly wearing a mask doesn't really appeal to me (I'm a bit claustrophobic and wearing a mask longer than 15-30 minutes makes me literally nutty) but neither does having the reactions I had. I'm pretty sure I'll be getting the vaccine this coming flu season.

    Our hospital that we do clinicals in insists its either the mask or the vaccine, your choice, but it WILL be one or the other..NO exceptions for any reason.
  7. by   TnMtnRose
    It wasn't required for our school but the clinical site that I worked did require it. No clinical. So if your school clinicals at multiple sites, check to see if there is one where it is not required. Unless of course your school itself requires it. At that point you may not have an option
  8. by   caroladybelle
    For an employer, possibly.For nursing school, it prevent you from attending.

    The issue has less to do with the school and much much more to do with clinical sites and experiences.

    Most schools attend clinicals at several hospitals. The requirements vary greatly and students must fulfill all reasonable ones. As the hospital takes a great deal of risk to permit students there, most receive no recompense for having students, and students add significant work to staff, most sites feel justified in requiring students to meet their Health standards, and no reason to bend them.

    Also some depts are more restrictive with requiring vaccines such as oncology, ICU, pediatrics or neonatal. As a student, you must receive training all areas or not pass. If your school cannot get a site that will accept you, adios nursing degree.

    Some will allow DOCUMENTED allergy/health exceptions, a very few, religious exemptions.

    If your lack of flu vaccination has to do with scientifically unsubstantiated theories, you may not be able to obtain exemption. With most schools pushing evidence based research, and many sue happy lawyers, few places will want to take the risk.
    Last edit by caroladybelle on May 12, '12
  9. by   Double-Helix
    My school didn't require it, but clinical sites did. But there was a waiver form that you could sign stating your reason for refusing the vaccine.

    Schools and hospitals are going to have different policies regarding this. There's no way to find out on the internet if you'll be able to refuse the shot at your school. Call the school and ask for their policy.
  10. by   Bruce_Wayne
    At my school it is required. If you refuse you're told that sorry but the program is not for you.
  11. by   Wrench Party
    Just get it. We were required to get all vaccinations for school and for clinical sites,
    and I honestly had way more important things to do than worry about a few shots.
    I'd rather be vaccinated, anyway, in the interest of public health.
  12. by   brillohead
    A valid medical reason (allergy, etc.) documented by a physician is the only justification for refusing the influenza vaccine in my program. All the clinical sites in my area also do the "must wear a mask throughout the entire flu season" thing too for employees who don't get the flu shot for a valid medical reason.

    If you're refusing to get a flu shot ever again in your life for a non-medical reason, you might want to think twice about working in the medical field. Your ability to get a job could be severely compromised for this reason.
  13. by   anonymousstudent
    We are also required to get the vaccine. This is not like public school for a child where you can seek an vaccine exemption for various reasons and have it hold water. You have a right not to get the vaccine - they have rights too - one of them being denying you enrollment.
  14. by   sauconyrunner
    Most likely you will be required to get the vaccine. Most hospitals are going to require it for clinical experience. Being a student in a facility is not a right, so the school has to abide by what is set out, or they can be asked not to return.

    I can recommend the Preservative free vaccine. I think it is much better tolerated than the other one.