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Getting Flack For Not Getting Covid Vaccine

Updated | Posted

Specializes in ED.

getting-backlash-for-not-taking-vaccine.jpg.0f8cfea8eebc26062d184647783279f7.jpg

I am trying to feel out if anyone else has declined the Covid vaccine and feeling backlash or tension with other co-workers? I have never heard so much discussion regarding nurse receiving or declining a vaccine in the 12 years I've been a nurse. Not sure why it should even matter but, I am getting a lot of pressure about it. I do not see why I am "crazy " if I made the decision against receiving the vaccine. I also do not understand co-workers pushing the vaccine on me and others, or insisting we are out of our minds.  This is coming from management level as well as staff nurses. I am just appalled at the treatment and many of us who have declined the vaccine have kept to ourselves. For me, personally, I made the choice not to get it and I was done at that. It's been a month into our hospital vaccines and people will not just shut up about it. 

Is anyone else experiencing anything like this?

How are you handing this?

Please mind the poor spelling and grammar 🙂

macawake, MSN

Has 13 years experience.

2 hours ago, EDnurseAmen said:

I have never heard so much discussion regarding nurse receiving or declining a vaccine in the 12 years I've been a nurse.

Welcome to AN.

That doesn’t seem very strange considering we’ve been living with a devastating pandemic with significant morbidity and mortality for almost a year now. That’s what sets your twelfth year apart from your first eleven. 

hppygr8ful, ASN, RN, EMT-I

Specializes in Psych, Addictions, SOL (Student of Life). Has 19 years experience.

@EDnurseAmen I was on the fence right up to the moment that I had the vaccine. The facility had to order the number of doses to include both the 1st and 2nd doses and the facility needed a headcount so I said sure knowing that I could still choose to refuse. I am not sure why people refuse (I know my reasons which were easily debunct with research) but as with the flu shot the decision to be vaccinated or not is  a deeply personal one. As long as you are comfortable with your decision why care what others tink. My daddy used to say "You wouldn't worry so much about what people thought of you if you knew how rarely they did."

I really try to not let people rent space in my head. There's enough goning in there with just me and the voices.

Hppy

TheMoonisMyLantern, ADN, LPN, RN

Specializes in Mental health, substance abuse, geriatrics, PCU. Has 14 years experience.

Due to the loss of life and enormous emotional toll this pandemic is taking on everybody, the topic of vaccination is a highly charged one.

As of now, it is your choice whether or not to be vaccinated, declining it is a relatively unpopular choice and when we make unpopular choices there can be repercussions from that, justified or not. 

How did people find out you chose not to vaccinate? If you don't want criticism for the decision, I wouldn't volunteer the information.

 

Tweety, BSN, RN

Specializes in Med-Surg, Trauma, Ortho, Neuro, Cardiac. Has 28 years experience.

It's your choice and I think right now you just have to shrug it off.  You have your reasons.

You're feeling the pressure because vaccination is the key to herd immunity and getting out of this mess, at least that's what the experts and scientists are saying.

I don't think that's happening where I work.  When I got vaccinated the person checking me in stopped and looked me in the eye and said "you don't have get vaccinated" and there was no pressure at all.

Coworkers here are not expressing any pressure about being vaccinated.  I personally respect the decision and am quiet about it.  When I floated to covid, I did ask someone if they were vaccinated and she said no, but didn't pressure or judge but confess to find it odd that a covid worker wouldn't get vaccinated.

One of my coworkers that declined the vaccine just got over getting sick with covid.  He's young and healthy and his symptoms were flu like and uncomfortable but not distressing.  He accepted that risk and seemed fine with getting covid.  I'm 61 and in good health, but I don't want to get covid and am not okay with it.

Good luck.  Just hang in there and do what's right for you.  This too shall pass.

 

Edited by Tweety

GrumpyRN, NP

Specializes in Emergency Department. Has 39 years experience.

It's simple really, yes you have the right to refuse the vaccine BUT....

If you have refused (except for documented medical reasons) then you have NO right to comment/complain or otherwise give your 2 cents worth about what happens in the future. You do not get to complain about lock-downs or mask wearing or anything Covid related.

I grew up in 1950's/1960's and polio was a real worry. Always someone in school wearing calipers. Thanks to mass vaccination this and also smallpox have gone.

Kitiger, RN

Specializes in Private Duty Pediatrics. Has 40 years experience.

1 hour ago, GrumpyRN said:

I grew up in 1950's/1960's and polio was a real worry. Always someone in school wearing calipers. Thanks to mass vaccination this and also smallpox have gone.

Uhh, "calipers"? Is that a Scottish way of saying "braces"?

MeganMN

Specializes in Emergency Room. Has 15 years experience.

Our hospital puts a tag on our badges to show compliance with the flu vaccine, and they are also giving people a red tag for the Covid vaccine, so it is quite obvious who has and has not been vaccinated. There was a ton of discussion about it at first, everyone wanted to know who did and did not get and why.  There was some bullying for sure, and some people got it because they almost felt harassed. As people are done with their series, discussion has diminished quite a bit. Our infection control officer is very respectful of people's individual decision to get it and also respects the decision not to. Administration is jumping on the bandwagon to reward people who get it with money and prizes, which initially felt wrong to me, but now I see it as a way to honor the people who got vaccinated because that decision came with risk and fear for many.

It is an individual decision, and yes, there is some part of the decision that is altruistic, deciding on the greatest good for the greatest number of people. I do not think, though, that if someone chooses to decline it, that they should be made to feel bad about it, or bullied, or treated poorly. That is, fortunately, and unfortunately, the right that we have in a free society. I also strongly believe that it is more effective to find common ground, respect individual differences and engage in discussion if you want to have the ability to teach people and conquer fear and uncertainty.  People who are not vaccinated will never trust the medical community of they feel like they are being backed into a corner, bullied, or harrassed, that will only increase mistrust. I do not think that type of behavior should be tolerated- it is very disrespectful..

PollywogNP, ADN, BSN, MSN, LPN, NP

Specializes in Med-Surg/Tele/ER/Urgent Care. Has 44 years experience.

OP; The saying is “Getting Flack” which means receiving criticism. Slack means loose.

[Position: I have been vaccinated. Readily.]

Expressions of derision and attempts to humiliate rarely change minds and seem to rarely change things for the better overall, but that's just my personal observation. A lot of people apparently seem to think those behaviors are quite useful in one way or another; primarily in their own head.

On 2/13/2021 at 8:57 AM, Tweety said:

You're feeling the pressure because vaccination is the key to herd immunity and getting out of this mess, at least that's what the experts and scientists are saying.

This ^

On 2/13/2021 at 11:51 AM, GrumpyRN said:

If you have refused (except for documented medical reasons) then you have NO right to comment/complain or otherwise give your 2 cents worth about what happens in the future.

Agree. And hopefully all those who are resorting to derision and attempts at humiliation of their peers have carefully observed every possible public health recommendation they could have.

Likewise, hopefully the employers whose management employees are  participating in this behavior and the employers who are putting their little colored dots on badges aren't the same ones who had abandoned their fit testing programs while also failing to have PAPRs, claimed nurses were more likely to get covid at the grocery store than at work, played games with their work and pay policies during this time, and in general obfuscated and created additional chaos in their quests to protect their business interests. You know.

DowntheRiver

Specializes in Urgent Care, Oncology. Has 7 years experience.

None of my five nurse and one pharmacist coworkers got the vaccine. They pulled their masks down and off quite frequently during shift. They do not practice social distancing in their free time. One actually took a trip, brought back COVID, and have an event where 15 people got sick. Came to work for 3 days before getting the positive. 

We work in an Oncology setting with immunocompromised and elderly patients. We'd have 16-20 patients in infusion at any time.

I found it incredibly selfish, to be honest. I'm a little sour because I became pregnant and my co-workers knew this. I'm a cancer survivor and have an autoimmune disorder. So, I can sit here and say woe is me, but what about the 16-20 different patients that were treated each day that are already fighting for their lives? When did we stop caring about others and what effect our actions will have on them?

I ended up quitting my job. Too risky. Now they're short. I did get vaccinated at 13+4 with the Pfizer. Not looking forward to March 4th but at least then I hope to have some freedom to go to the grocery store other than at 7 AM or 9 PM.

OK. End rant. Feel slightly better having gotten it out.

GrumpyRN, NP

Specializes in Emergency Department. Has 39 years experience.

20 hours ago, Kitiger said:

Uhh, "calipers"? Is that a Scottish way of saying "braces"?

Yes, we have always called them calipers. If I said "braces" people would think I meant something to hold your trousers up.

A link to the type I meant; 

https://www.Pinterest.com/pin/392305817525349613/

Kitiger, RN

Specializes in Private Duty Pediatrics. Has 40 years experience.

10 hours ago, GrumpyRN said:

Yes, we have always called them calipers. If I said "braces" people would think I meant something to hold your trousers up.

A link to the type I meant; 

https://www.Pinterest.com/pin/392305817525349613/

We would say "suspenders" for your "braces."

My Mom had to wear a special shoe to connect to her metal & leather below-the-knee caliper/brace for dropfoot after she had polio. She was in her 20s. By the time I came along, she wore a thin, plastic boot that slipped inside her shoe.

GrumpyRN, NP

Specializes in Emergency Department. Has 39 years experience.

11 hours ago, Kitiger said:

We would say "suspenders" for your "braces."

My Mom had to wear a special shoe to connect to her metal & leather below-the-knee caliper/brace for dropfoot after she had polio. She was in her 20s. By the time I came along, she wore a thin, plastic boot that slipped inside her shoe.

Suspenders in the UK are what women wear (and men) to hold up stockings. Think Tim Curry as Frank-N-Furter in the "Rocky Horror Picture Show." 😱

Modern calipers are as you say made of plastic and are much, much lighter. Although I know a man who still uses a metal caliper although it only goes over his knee and you don't see it under his trousers. Modern orthosis/orthotics mean we no longer are aware of the number of people that polio touched, plus they will all be in their late 60's upwards.

Kitiger, RN

Specializes in Private Duty Pediatrics. Has 40 years experience.

13 hours ago, GrumpyRN said:

Suspenders in the UK are what women wear (and men) to hold up stockings. Think Tim Curry as Frank-N-Furter in the "Rocky Horror Picture Show." 😱

 

We would call that a garter belt. 🙂

Jeckrn1, ADN, BSN

Specializes in Operating room, ER, Home Health. Has 22 years experience.

On 2/13/2021 at 11:51 AM, GrumpyRN said:

It's simple really, yes you have the right to refuse the vaccine BUT....

If you have refused (except for documented medical reasons) then you have NO right to comment/complain or otherwise give your 2 cents worth about what happens in the future. You do not get to complain about lock-downs or mask wearing or anything Covid related.

I grew up in 1950's/1960's and polio was a real worry. Always someone in school wearing calipers. Thanks to mass vaccination this and also smallpox have gone.

Just ask all the veterans who have Gulf War Syndrome and see if they would have liked to refuse all the vaccines they received. As far as having no say about the future what gives anyone the right to say who can or cannot to comment or complain about the future. 
  When the polio vaccine became mandatory it was no longer a experimental vaccine. So that is comparing apples to oranges. 

GrumpyRN, NP

Specializes in Emergency Department. Has 39 years experience.

4 hours ago, Jeckrn1 said:

Just ask all the veterans who have Gulf War Syndrome and see if they would have liked to refuse all the vaccines they received.

What does that have to do with anything? Your statement is out of date and wrong. 

"Exposure to pesticides and pills containing pyridostigmine bromide (used as a pretreatment to protect against nerve agent effects) has been found to be associated with the neurological effects seen in Gulf war syndrome. Other causes that have been investigated are sarin, cyclosarin, and emissions from oil well fire, but their relationship to the illness is not as clear."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gulf_War_syndrome

 

"The overwhelming evidence from the programme is that the combination of vaccines and tablets that were offered to UK Forces at the time of the 1990/1991 Gulf Conflict would not have had adverse health effects."

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/gulf-veterans-illnesses#the-vaccines-interactions-research-programme

 

4 hours ago, Jeckrn1 said:

As far as having no say about the future what gives anyone the right to say who can or cannot to comment or complain about the future. 

The way to combat this virus is to have everyone who can have the vaccine has it, so that those who can't have it have herd protection. I really did not think I would have to explain basic stuff on this site. Everyone is aware of their "rights" but people seem to ignore their responsibilities. If you are part of society then you get vaccinated and protect that society. If you don't then you get no say in how society works on this particular issue.

 

4 hours ago, Jeckrn1 said:

 When the polio vaccine became mandatory it was no longer a experimental vaccine. So that is comparing apples to oranges. 

I don't know where you are but here the vaccines are not experimental. They have gone through a whole host of tests and measures and have been passed by the regulators.

 

I did not get and I'm not planning to get the vaccine. That being said I have not shared this info with my most of my coworkers. Not a lot of people ask but when they do I simply say - I havent gotten it yet. My relatives have gotten the shots and asked for my reason and I tell them I'm just not getting it. Fyi  I did get covid a few months ago. I'm thankful to God that I got better. No one should be pushed or feel pressured to take the vaccine. It's should be a personal choice.