Mandatory Flu Vaccines- How do you feel? - page 8

by Snowbird17 25,675 Views | 206 Comments

Anyone else upset by the requirement to take flu vaccine or else... not even a mask option??? Only way out is a MD note stating "severe" allergy. Why is it we can't force our patients but our hospitals can force us. I am... Read More


  1. 1
    What people seem to forget is that even though you get a flu vaccine, it IS NOT 100% that you will not get, or pass on the flu. They have to predict and pick the CORRECT strains! That is so frustrating to me that people think, and teach, that the flu virus is 100% effective. I do not get the flu shot, and my husband does not either. We lived with a couple, and they both got their flu shot, just as they do every year. They BOTH got the flu, and we did not. That is because they did not pick the right strain that year! So please, as nurses, do not educate your patients and the community that the flu shot is 100% effective, because that is false. I think that when this false information is given, this is when patients stop washing their hands, and get haphazard thinking they are "immune". I educate my patients of the risks, and that they try and predict what strains may be circulating that year, but it is in no way fool proof. And yes, for many, the benefits far outweigh the risks. Washing your hands is the most important thing to stop spreading of infection, and unfortunately most people don't. I have seen nurses that "get their flu shot every year", but do not regularly wash their hands, use hand sanitizer, or properly use contact precautions. (And yes, I give them a friendly reminder). I think the flu vaccine gives too many a false sense of security.
    And in regards to it being mandatory, I do not think that is right. And many nurses, pharmacists, and physicians in Texas (yes physicians and pharmacists too), feel the same way. I should have the option of wearing a mask. I am in Texas, and they just passed a law about 2 weeks ago that the facility is required to mandate you in order to get funding. I don't even have an option unless I move out of the state, or find a facility that doesn't need funding. (yea right LOL!). This is a STATE law. I am sure other states will be following soon too. It is the point that I no longer have a personal choice. I have only got the flu shot once, and that year, got the flu anyways because the correct strain was not chosen. I have not gotten the flu since, because I wash my hands, and use droplet precautions. Shouldn't we be wearing masks with immuno-compromised patients period? Because it is not just the flu that can be deadly to them. The common cold could. And there is no vaccination against that.
    Jory likes this.
  2. 3
    Quote from imjustme123
    I just read at the nurses station that they want 90% of staff to be vaccinated for the best reimbursement dollars. So, I guess that is really what the flu shot is all about. Beyond that, I think economics drives it in most every sense from the money it generates for the pharma companies all the way to the money it generates for labor for giving it. I don't think it has anything to do with health.
    At my local pharmacy there is a whiteboard that says " Flu shot goal = 100 this week." I know the pharmacy tech personally and ask her about the goal. She tells me that if the goal is reached there are bonuses for the pharmacy. Also, at my kids' pediatricians office they receive bonuses for getting a certain percentage of patients vaccinated with the whole laundry list of vaccines. I definitely feel that increased money is the motivating factor here.
    Jory, barbyann, and peasandonions like this.
  3. 1
    Quote from modgoth1
    At my local pharmacy there is a whiteboard that says " Flu shot goal = 100 this week." I know the pharmacy tech personally and ask her about the goal. She tells me that if the goal is reached there are bonuses for the pharmacy. Also, at my kids' pediatricians office they receive bonuses for getting a certain percentage of patients vaccinated with the whole laundry list of vaccines. I definitely feel that increased money is the motivating factor here.
    That is both sad and scary. I heard something similar from a pharmacist also. And that same pharmacist shared the same frustration with me about the 100% immunity myth.
    Jory likes this.
  4. 4
    Quote from megsbug
    That is both sad and scary. I heard something similar from a pharmacist also. And that same pharmacist shared the same frustration with me about the 100% immunity myth.
    Apparently the flu shot for this year was derived last year based on predictions of what strains MIGHT be around this year. Fortune telling snake oil salesmen comes to mind here.
    Hotfornursing, morte, Jory, and 1 other like this.
  5. 2
    And I think they are using the same strains this year that they have the past three, and they were the wrong strains the previous two years
    Jory and barbyann like this.
  6. 0
    One of our local hospitals does something right: compromise. You don't have to get the shot, but they encourage it. And if you get it, documented, and then proceed to get sick with flu-like symptoms, documented, you are paid. Not paid like it's your sick time, but paid with all your differentials, etc. and it does not come out of any of your time. The facility just pays you. I think it's a good incentive, those who know the shot makes them ill will be somewhat more likely to get it knowing they will not lose their income for a week.

    I have asked my current employer to consider such an incentive. I think it would help. For myself, I consider the whole flu season as one big crapshoot. I had the flu when I was 20, and I know I haven't had it since because nothing has felt that bad in 24 years. The closest I ever came was one day of high fever and aches that wound up being 14 days prior to my first outbreak of shingles. But the flu? That was a week of that crap. There are bugs everywhere, all sorts of things I can catch or my body can just do to me out of spite (autoimmune things, shingles, etc) that could all take me down anywhere from a week to forever. So I get the vaccine, because I really don't want my daughter exposed, and I wash my hands obsessively for the same reason. I'll get what I get but I am not gonna make it easy to get me, and I would like more people to approach infection control seriously.
    Last edit by Indy on Oct 8, '12 : Reason: grammar snafu
  7. 0
    Quote from Elladora
    I love my job so if my employer told me it was mandatory to keep my position, I would gladly get the shot. That said, I have researched the flu vaccination and am comfortable with it. If they came up with some random series of vaccinations they said I "had" to get, we might have to talk. At that point I might start weighing my options a little more seriously.

    As a side note, I'm really glad my employer doesn't make vaccinations mandatory. I'm a pretty firm believer in personal choice.
    If you would gladly get the flu shot if it was mandated why don't you gladly get it now?
  8. 1
    Quote from Indy
    One of our local hospitals does something right: compromise. You don't have to get the shot, but they encourage it. And if you get it, documented, and then proceed to get sick with flu-like symptoms, documented, you are paid. Not paid like it's your sick time, but paid with all your differentials, etc. and it does not come out of any of your time. The facility just pays you. I think it's a good incentive, those who know the shot makes them ill will be somewhat more likely to get it knowing they will not lose their income for a week.

    .
    Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries.
    Vaccines to prevent influenza in healthy adults

    First published: July 7, 2010; This version published: 2010; Review content assessed as up-to-date: June 02, 2010.

    Plain language summary

    Over 200 viruses cause influenza and influenza‐like illness which produce the same symptoms (fever, headache, aches and pains, cough and runny noses). Without laboratory tests, doctors cannot tell the two illnesses apart. Both last for days and rarely lead to death or serious illness. At best, vaccines might be effective against only influenza A and B, which represent about 10% of all circulating viruses. Each year, the World Health Organization recommends which viral strains should be included in vaccinations for the forthcoming season.


    So, do people who don't get the shot get blamed for having the flu no matter what? And people who get the shot must have something else? Do they do laboratory test on everyone to make sure? This seems to be a random, unscientific witch hunt.
    morte likes this.
  9. 1
    Texas has a new law for all healthcare workers requiring the flu vaccine or wear a mask during flu season. The idea is not to spread the disease. Do you really want a nurse to be the one who infects patients and visitors in a hospital setting? The flu vaccine is not a live vaccine. Really educate yourself if you chose not to get it. A minor inconvenience, in my opinion, versus serious illness.
    JMBnurse likes this.
  10. 3
    In the past year I have taken care of 2 pts whom were isolated for flu. Compare that to the uncountable number of MRSA pts I have cared for. Makes me wonder why I didn't get swabbed for MRSA when I got my flu vaccine. Just saying................


Top