Is your Facility 'forcing' you to get the Flu Vaccine? - page 3

by madwife2002 Asst. Admin

10,827 Views | 74 Comments

My company have a new policy that if you do not want to receive the flu vaccine this year by end November, then you have to wear a mask within 6 feet of all patients. So they are not saying you have to have the flu vaccine but... Read More


  1. 9
    Quote from ~*Stargazer*~
    Whether you receive the flu vaccine or not is protected health information. It could be argued that by requiring you to mask if you have not had the vaccine, your employer is violating your privacy.
    Working as an RN lets everyone know you passed the NCLEX. How can we live with this violation of privacy.

    Vaccines work. Get the flu shot or go work in another profession but either way, stop whining about it.
  2. 3
    Quote from llg
    Not really. It falls into the same category as requiring you to get other immunizations (e.g. varicella, rubella, mumps, hep C, etc.), tetanus shot, your annual TB test, etc. They are allowed to establish such things as conditions of employment and have been doing so successfully for decades.
    Actually, you can be exempted from mandatory vaccines for religious or medical reasons. You could work shoulder to shoulder with someone who has never had any vaccines. You just wouldn't know it because they don't have to wear or display anything that would make that information public.

    While it's true that at-will employers can make all kinds of crazy rules for conditions of employment, facilities with collective bargaining agreements cannot just make new conditions of employment without negotiating with the union first.

    And since when did they finally make a vaccine for Hep C? I must have missed the press release.
    Esme12, SE_BSN_RN, and KelRN215 like this.
  3. 5
    Quote from MN-Nurse
    Working as an RN lets everyone know you passed the NCLEX. How can we live with this violation of privacy.
    I was referring to HIPAA's Privacy Rule.

    Vaccines work.
    Oh really?

    From the CDC:

    How well the flu vaccine works (or its ability to prevent influenza illness) can range widely from season to season and also can vary depending on who is being vaccinated. At least two factors play an important role in determining the likelihood that influenza vaccine will protect a person from influenza illness: 1) characteristics of the person being vaccinated (such as their age and health), and 2) the similarity or "match" between the influenza viruses in the vaccine and those spreading in the community. During years when the viruses in the vaccine and circulating viruses are not well matched, it’s possible that no benefit from vaccination may be observed. During years when the viruses in the vaccine and circulating viruses are very well matched, it’s possible to measure substantial benefits from vaccination in terms of preventing influenza illness. However, even during years when the vaccine match is very good, the benefits of vaccination will vary across the population, depending on characteristics of the person being vaccinated and even, potentially, which vaccine was used.
    Get the flu shot or go work in another profession but either way, stop whining about it.
    I don't think those are my only options.
    brandy1017, KelRN215, SCSTxRN, and 2 others like this.
  4. 0
    Quote from itsnowornever

    This was such a load of CRAP that we were told! I have NEVER had anything other than a minor cold, got the flu shot had a fever of 104/103 and AST/ALT levels TRIPLED without reason and a nasty rash broke out on my knuckles (read that there is a liver autoimmune issue causing these probs, cleared of that). I didn't take Tylenol for the fever (don't believe in it unless you are in pain; was just hot, achy and TIRED!) or any OTC meds. No reason for my illness. Labs up the wazoo. I blame the flu shot.
    I agree. The only years I've gotten sick are the ones I've been forced to get the vaccine for school, so I don't feel it helped. I've also had similar reactions to it as you, but nothing medically emergent so I cannot be exempt from getting it in the future. Our school= very strict about it. There is no getting around it here. Hopefully when I graduate, my future place of work won't have the same rules!
  5. 3
    Quote from ~*Stargazer*~
    Whether you receive the flu vaccine or not is protected health information. It could be argued that by requiring you to mask if you have not had the vaccine, your employer is violating your privacy.
    Some facilities agree. They'll simply fire employees who refuse.

    I must be the odd one here. I get a flu shot every year even if no one tells me to. Evidence-based medicine persuades me to.
    SE_BSN_RN, SHGR, and Luckyyou like this.
  6. 0
    Quote from CDC
    How well the flu vaccine works (or its ability to prevent influenza illness) can range widely from season to season and also can vary depending on who is being vaccinated.
    No medical therapy is 100% effective, though the HPV vaccine is pretty close.

    I used to get the flu periodically, as many people do. In the 10+ years since I've been getting the flu vaccine, I only had the flu once: H1N1, for which I hadn't gotten a vaccine.

    I'm much happier not getting the flu every (approximately) third winter. I'm also pretty sure I haven't infected anyone else with the flu since I haven't been infected with it myself.
  7. 3
    Quote from Samael
    Some facilities agree. They'll simply fire employees who refuse.
    Unless there is a collective bargaining agreement in place. Then they can't. Yet another mark in the "plus" column for unions.

    I must be the odd one here. I get a flu shot every year even if no one tells me to. Evidence-based medicine persuades me to.
    Nobody here is advocating for taking away your right to receive a flu vaccination if you wish. In fact, I completely support employee education programs that provide objective, factual information about the flu vaccine and easy access to the vaccine for those who choose to get it.

    What I do not support is my employer being allowed to mandate what I put into my body. I'm happy to get the flu vaccine if, after being educated about it, I decide it's right for me. But once you tell me I have no choice, that's where I draw the line.

    Since 90% of flu deaths are in people over age 65, perhaps we ought to focus our attention on making the flu vaccine easily available to that patient population. Oh wait, we're doing that already. And yet, I still don't see little old ladies being told they have to get the flu shot or lose their Medicare. After all, they know the risks and so if they choose not to get the vaccine and then get sick, why should society pay?

    No. They are being educated about the risks and benefits and being allowed to make their own informed decision like autonomous adults in our society are allowed to do. This same courtesy is all I ask as a health care worker.

    If you really want to make a dent in flu transmission, then school aged children should be the ones getting the vaccination. According to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, children are 2-3 times more likely to get sick with the flu and are frequent transmitters of the flu. Households with school aged children are the most likely to acquire the flu.

    I have no children in my household, and have very little contact with children at all. My elderly patients are more likely to get the flu from their grandchildren than they are from me.

    Mandatory vaccination of health care workers is evidence based? I don't think so.
    Last edit by ~*Stargazer*~ on Oct 13, '12
    KelRN215, JZ_RN, and Angiebella like this.
  8. 0
    Although I am just preparing to enter nursing school, I have been in the medical field in different aspects for years. There are many people who feel vaccines are bad for you. I do not think it is right to require any vaccine. I feel it should be my choice as to what risk I am exposed to. If the people who get vaccines believe so strongly that they work then those people are not affected by my chosing not have said vaccine. It is me who assumes the risk of whatever it may be. There is a recent study that found flu vaccine increases risk of Alzheimer. Another example is that since our children are vaccinated against chicken pox...Shingles out breaks are much worse. This is because once a person had CP their immune system would protect them against it and as they were exposed to others with CP they got a boost in immunity against it. Now that hardly anyone gets CP that boost never comes hence later here comes the shingles worse than ever. Then here comes another vaccine for shingles. I just believe that your immune system has to be exercised. I won't get on my soap box...my point is just that a facility would never make a policy stating that to enter as a patient you HAD to have X Y and Z vaccines. I have never gotten the flu shot nor have my children and none of us have had the flu. I think this is an issue people just have to agree to disagree on...You do what you have to do to keep your job. It just doesn't seem right to me.
  9. 1
    Last year was nothing; we just had to sign a waiver if we didn't want a flu shot. I have never gotten a flu shot and I have been fine. This year, my hospital is implementing the flu shot or else wear a mask within 6 feet of patients, which I think is ridiculous. I haven't gotten my flu shot yet but I do feel like I'm being "bullied" into it. I agree, it's ridiculous.
    JZ_RN likes this.
  10. 1
    Also, most states do not require immunizations for hospital workers. Check your individual state here:

    NCIRD: Immunization Laws


    Additionally, and I hope I'm not overstepping the TOS regarding legal advice, it is my understanding that even if your state doesn't have a medical or religious exemption statute, if your employer is an equal opportunity employer, then they are obligated to make reasonable accommodations for religious objections to vaccinations, without placing undue requirements on "proof" of your religious beliefs.
    Last edit by ~*Stargazer*~ on Oct 14, '12
    JZ_RN likes this.


Top