Mandatory Flu Vaccines- How do you feel? - page 2

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... Read More

  1. by   squidbillies
    I'm with you, OP.

    I always suck it up and do it. Had to do it for the Army (plus every other billion vaccinations they gave me), had to do it for nursing school just the other week, and I too am pregnant. NOT AT ALL happy about it. Unfortunately, I think venting on here is the only thing that can be done about it.

    WTH is with the space aliens? Nice rebuttal showing the conflicting opinion...
  2. by   brandy1017
    You can always take leave early and then wait till the baby is born to decide whether to get the flu vaccine!

    To the youngster that's tired of the old women whining, grow up, we've been around long enough to see guillian barre first hand from the flu vaccine. It's like a reverse lottery,hoping you're not the one who ends up paralyzed! Most likely, its only a matter of time before you see or know someone who has had this terrible consequence of a flu vaccine, so in the meantime go ahead and sneer at us older nurses.
  3. by   ckh23
    Every flu season it's the same thread.

    Yes you do have the right to refuse the vaccine, just as your employer will have the right to terminate you or suspend you until after flu season.
  4. by   Ayvah
    I have no problem with a shot-or-mask ultimatum. However I am uncomfortable with the shot-or-fired ultimatum. My hospital is doing just that and while I understand the rationale it still does seem intrusive.
  5. by   hiddencatRN
    Not sure why you're comparing the flu vaccine to thalidomide. The flu vaccine has been used safely in pregnancy for years.

    I can understand objecting to an employer's demand for a vaccination. I can't understand nurses who act like vaccinations are some dark conspiracy. Shouldn't we be equipped from schooling and experience to be a little more scientifically literate?And over 2/3 of Guillain Barre cases occur following GI and respiratory viruses, including flu.
  6. by   BlueDevil,DNP
    Flu vaccine is highly recommended for pregnant women. CDC Features - Pregnant Women Need a Flu Shot!

    It is required for all employees in our company, even the pregnant ones. You must have it by 10/15 annually, or you will be furloughed until June 1st of the following year, and all benefits are suspended as well, including PTO, insurance, etc. Of course, they cannot guarantee the position will still be available by then. This is explicitly stated in the employment contract every employee signs at hire, along with the drug screening policy, all the other vaccines/titers, and sundry other corporate compliance issues. One always has the option of turning down the job offer, obviously. No one has the option of refusing the influenza vaccine, unless they have prior medical record documentation of objective evidence demonstrating true allergy or another disqualifier (guillain-barr syndrome, etc). Conscientious objector status is not recognized. Well, it would probably be recognized at your exit interview, lol.

    get your bloody jab and move on with your life. for crying out loud. It's a simple vaccine. good grief
  7. by   Snowbird17
    Ayvah- you made my point much more concisely! Thank you.

    Hiddencate- I wasn't comparing thalidomide to the flu vax, it was an analogy to the aliens comment. Also, I am not debating the safety of the flu vaccine, I support flu vaccines. I also support other vaccines. I current on all, as is my family. It is about the ultimatum that so many people find acceptable.

    This is about our right to put our own health choices ahead of those instituted by a company. I will not attempt to give an example that applies to everyone. Instead, think of something you would not want to do medically, big or small- it is irrelevant, it the point. Now imagine your employer was able to threaten your employment in order to make you acquiesce to that demand.... with no alternative.

    That is the point of this thread. Not the safety of the flu vaccine. My schooling, experience and scientific literacy allow me to concede that it is perfectly safe to most people without argument. Nor am I a conspiracy theorist. There is no hidden agenda or conspiracy within the healthcare world. I don't think they are slipping microscopic tracers in the vaccine. What I know is that I am being forced to take a medication to keep my employment. Period. There is an increase in allergies in children. There are theories to why but no proof to exactly why. Am I completely out of the ballpark and looking for a conspiracy to wonder if a foreign substance containing eggs, injected into my body while my baby was forming could have played a role in my child's egg allergy? Is it that absurd? Think of some of the links we have found with more unrelated ideas related to healthcare.

    We are not talking about tardiness, dress code, being nice, compliance with CEU's or customer service- we are talking about an invasive, permanent medical intervention. This may seem trivial to some.

    No one individuals rights should be weighed more heavily than another person. As patients have a right to be protected, employees have the right to refuse intervention, if they concede to an alternative.

    I completely see the point of view of those who see these mandates as a protective measure. It is a very valid point. Not being offered an alternative is the part that frustrates me.
  8. by   Asystole RN
    Quote from ColoradoRN17
    Wow Asystole. Space aliens- excellent reference. Perhaps the moms who took Thalidomine would have appreciated such a comforting analogy before studies were compiled linking that med to birth defects..... I happen to feel the flu shot is very benign but should my employer have the right to force me to take it without offering an alternative? I support the policy as well as long as I can have the option to wear a mask. They are not offering that option this year. Am I really in a position to choose a new employer- I only have a few shifts left before leave. No one will hire me waddling like a duck to work a few weeks and then go on leave. Plus, what about my benefits, etc.

    I read through a couple of your other posts to get a feel for the meaning behind your response. This is a quote from a previous post from you...."Hooray for socialized medicine! I love it how government can dictate how we use our bodies. " Glad we draw the line at government but for-profits do what you will to me. I have rights, just not as many as the patients I care for. FYI- in some states this is mandated by the department of health. That is a government agency.....

    I take the flu shot, as does my child with an egg allergy. My concern is not the vaccine it is this small step an employer can imposing on my choice for my body. My reasoning for debating the vaccine is irrelevant. I should have left that out. I follow all company guidelines. I am not a problem employee. This is not just my hospital or my company.

    Will I comply, more than likely. That is not the point. Sadly, I wonder what will be required of healthcare workers in the future because of the tolerance for such requirements now.

    Seems vaccinating the patient really protects the patient. Oh, your nurse didn't give you the flu but the cab driver who picked you up did.

    Flyingscot, I did search the 8 billion other posts. Many brought up the alternative option of wearing a mask. I was curious how other nurses felt about not being given an alternative.
    My hypothesis of space aliens causing allergies is just as valid as yours, if we utilize the lack of refuting studies as the benchmark.

    There is a significant difference between the government mandating compliance, which you do not have a choice in the participation of, and a private employer in which you voluntarily engage in a relationship with. You voluntarily applied to, and accepted the conditions of, the employment conditions in which they proposed. The silliness of your complaint is equal to someone working in the OR and complaining that they do not want to wear pants because no study has been conducted refuting the correlation between pants and pant allergies.

    Can you believe that my employer mandates that I wear shoes? What an intrusion on my personal freedoms. Its not like I applied for employment, petitioned for a particular position, accepted the policies, and work of my own free will.


    I would like to say though, I do think it is rather naive for a facility to mandate vaccine without a compromise. At my current employer we have the mask option, which is strictly enforced.
  9. by   BlueDevil,DNP
    Well, there is a very simple answer for you: take a different position that doesn't require a vaccine that makes you uncomfortable. You said yourself that wouldn't be a problem. Comply or leave. It really isn't that big a conundrum.
  10. by   NurseDirtyBird
    I'm a little on the fence about this. On one hand, it's your body and nobody but you has the right to mandate what goes in it.
    On the other hand, you are not a patient of the facility, therefore patients' rights do not apply. You are an at-will employee of the facility and the vaccination is a condition of your employment.
    I suppose they're not eliminating the freedom for you to choose the vaccination or not, because you technically still have the choice to quit or be fired.
    I have the choice to shoot up heroin if I want to, it's my body. However, being drug-free is a condition of my employment, and they are perfectly justified in firing me if I am not.
  11. by   Snowbird17
    Asystole- Extraterrestrials aside, the lack of an alternative was my point. Is the State Health Dept a private sector provider?

    BlueDevil- I did not say that, it was another post. Honestly, do you think that one's career being threaten is so flippant that it can be summed up to " It really isn't that big a conundrum". Once again, it's not the vaccine it is the lack of alternative.
  12. by   BlueDevil,DNP
    Yes, I really do. They aren't "threatening your career," that is unnecessarily hyperbolic and it makes it hard to take you seriously. You have the option of pursuing your career there or elsewhere. All the pontificating doesn't change the fact that it is an extremely simple and straight forward situation. They have set standards to which you must adhere if you wish to maintain the privilege of remaining in their employ. Opt to meet the standards, or not. I really do not see the need for all the drama. It is just a choice. One that is yours entirely. Your "alternative" is to work elsewhere. They don't owe you anything else. I am truly puzzled that you would suggest that they do. It is not a negotiation.
  13. by   Asystole RN
    Quote from Snowbird17
    Asystole- Extraterrestrials aside, the lack of an alternative was my point. Is the State Health Dept a private sector provider?

    BlueDevil- I did not say that, it was another post. Honestly, do you think that one's career being threaten is so flippant that it can be summed up to " It really isn't that big a conundrum". Once again, it's not the vaccine it is the lack of alternative.
    Do employers have a right to set conditions upon the terms of employment of their employees as described in their contract, formal or informal? Yes.

    The State Dept is not a private sector employer of course, but you still have the right to accept or decline the terms of employment. I certainly do not accept the conditions of my local State Dept, hence I declined to engage in the employer-employee relationship with them.

    I understand the frustration over there not being an alternative but some people see the health of the patients and the employees to be so important that they made this policy mandatory. I do not fault them for that. Just imagine the amount of money that is lost to sick employees alone, not to mention what happens to the patients.

    EDIT: OP, I do not want to freak you out but some hospitals are actually mandating that employees be nicotine free, and test for it. That means no smokes at work or at home...