CDC - Why Most Nurses Don't Get the Flu Vaccine - page 12

this article is from the centers of disease control (cdc) influenza vaccination rates for nurses need a boost with all the news coverage in the last few years of people scrambling to find a... Read More

  1. by   tntrn
    I will get a flu shot, as I do every year. I've never had any problem, not even a sore arm. BUT this year I might, just to be contrary, go to my doctor's office, pay for it and then let them try to get the information out of me about whether I did or did not get one, and if I did not get one, why I did or did not get one. We have forms in our file folders right now indicating JCAHO requires us to get one, and if we don't, then requiring us to say why. I must have missed the announcement that said JCAHO can make laws!

    I don't think that information is any of their business. But I do think it might be a way of having more control (big brother) over things. They want you to be "theirs" 24-7 and this is another part of that.
  2. by   TrudyRN
    I have always been in awe of how some new virus knows exactly when to come out of hiding (Fall/Winter) - just in time for its "season".

    And how can vaccine makers know against what virus to prepare the shot each year unless they are also involved in making this virus appear?

    I took a flu shot a couple of times, was ok. But I simply do not trust that there isn't something nefarious in these damned vaccines, put there intentionally by evil people. Call me crazy but I just don't trust people the way I used to, including "scientists". There has been too much told to us about who funds drug research and what
    happens to those who perform it when their research results are not "acceptable"
    to the funders - fired, ruined careers, defamed.
  3. by   globalRN
    Flu Shot Works For Me....
    The One Year I Didn't Get It.... Definitely Noticed A Huge Difference!!
    Needless To Say, Made Sure I Got It This Year
  4. by   RNDreamer
    Never got the flu shot...was only sick one year, 10 years ago ....I may change my mind when I become a nurse, but for now, I am fine without it
  5. by   CraigB-RN
    Quote from ERNP
    I am skeptical of flu shots for a couple of reasons....

    I have received the flu shot exactly twice in the last 14 years of health care. Both those years I had some illness approx 1 month after receiving the vaccine that wiped me out. One week of fever of 102 - 104 with no other real symptoms both times. I don't think it was from the shot but something happened with me those 2 years that I don't want to happen again.

    Also, working in the ER for many years, I have not contracted the flu or anything similar to the flu for any years other than those years I received the flu vaccine. I wash my hands before and after each patient contact, before eating, before and after using the bathroom. Basically, I am busy trying to wash the skin off my hands.

    Finally, I treated many patients with positive influenza testing last year in the ER. About 50% of those had received the flu vaccine. That isn't the best advertisement for vaccine effectiveness. So unnecessary risk vs. limited benefit. I will be avoiding the flu vaccine this year as well.
    Hmm I've never cought MRSA, C-Diff, or who knows what else in the 30 yeras I've been doing this. I guess I'll stop wearing gloves because my imunity is so high being an ER nurse.
  6. by   Gromit
    -trudy, from what I was taught, its not that the virus 'knows when to come out', its cyclical -but the CDC among others, watch the strains in the Eastern world, and the most agressive or most likely to spread easily are the strains they make vaccines for (no way could they make vaccines for every strain, and the bug mutates too quickly to make a 'one size fits all' vaccine, so they pick the most likely candidates.
    For my part, I always get the vaccine. I have also availed myself of the pneumonia vaccine. Thanks to my cardiomyopathy (second to viral endocarditis) I'm only a really bad illness from going into failure, so for me it just makes good sense.
    The wife never gets the shot -though she isn't a nurse, she DOES live with one (grin).
    Our hospital (this year) started making noise about JACHO requireing it -I personally get a little offended that some unaccountable body (JACHO) should have the authority to insist that adults inject things into their bodies. They have to draw the line SOMEWHERE. As an Adult, -especially an informed one- I should be allowed to have a bit of governance over my body.
  7. by   Mulan
    We have to either accept or decline, in writing.

    Supposedly it is not a punitive thing, but the CDC and somebody else, maybe JCAHO?, wants to know why nurses don't take the vaccine.

    If one does not take it, and one gets the flu, then the hospital will not pay for sick leave. I wonder if that's legal?
  8. by   Gromit
    I'd hazard a guess and say that it is NOT legal. Sick leave is used for precisely that -sick time -which loosely defined would be events (including being sick) that preclude your ability to be at work.
    How are they to know that your 'flu' is actually the flu?
    In our facility, we don't have actual "sick time" but ATO -general hours to be used for vacation, sick, whatever.
    If you're concerned that the flu would not be covered with your available sick time (if they did refuse, they would really be setting themselves up for one heck of a lawsuit) then just give your reason as being 'too ill to work'. To truly diagnose it as a flu would require blood tests, etc. How many of us go get our blood drawn -or even go to a doctor- because we think we may have the flu? We treat it ourselves just as our parents did. Lots of rest, plenty of fluids, and a prayer that if we must die, please make it quick (grin).
  9. by   indigo girl
    Flu vaccination still a challenge for hospitals

    Quote from

    Four teams of researchers reported at the 18th Annual Scientific Meeting of the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America, held in Orlando, Fla., that large proportions of hospital staff believe that flu vaccine causes influenza or triggers other side effects. Others believe that previous bouts of flu have made them immune to contracting the flu again.
  10. by   indigo girl
    Seasonal Influenza CDC conference call

    Here is an audio link to that conference call:

    Quote from

    seasonal influenza - approximately 36,000 deaths annually in US with greater than 90% over the age of 64, approximately 200,000 hospitalizations with children under 2 being equally involved as adults over 64

    even at peak of influenza season, only 25-35% of specimens from people with symptoms of acute respiratory infection test positive for influenza - this is partly because of the non-specificity of the symptoms and partly because of less than optimal sensitivity of the rapid tests

    vaccine effectiveness is difficult to evaluate for multiple reasons....

    one is whether the definition being used is influenza like illness (fever, cough, sore throat) (this would measure lower vaccine effectiveness as some of these cases would not be influenza however this is a more easily measured factor than viral culture and is commonly used)

    also vaccines may not prevent disease altogether but may limit severe outcomes by partial protection

    By looking at the antigenic deteminants in the lab, last years vaccine was 69% effective against H1N1, 21% effective against H3N2 and 3% effective against type B.

    However this does not perfectly translate into clinical effectiveness as there may be some cross reactivity..

    An interim study of this years vaccine effectiveness showed a 44% overall effectiveness including 58% for H3N2 and 0% for B. This was done on Medically Attended Acute Respiratory Illnesses (MAARI) that were lab confirmed as influenza by RT-PCR.

    New vaccine strategy for next year is to recommend vaccination of all children and young adults 6 months to 18 years.
    This is very different from the demographics of bird flu viruses of pandemic
    potential. With H5N1, most fatalities are occurring in the 18 to 40 age group
    with 10 to 18, a close second. Targeting of those age groups first might be
  11. by   jessiern
    Well, it is still my choice, and I still choose not to receive it.

    Blast if you want, but the only time in my life I have ever had the flu was my first year in nursing school. We were strongly encouraged to take the vaccine. Haven't taken it since, and aside from a case of sniffles, haven't had any problems.
  12. by   BlueRidgeHomeRN
    we seem to be arguing based entirely on personal experience....

    i believe in choice, but after running hundreds of "flu clinics" will repeat, as i always do....

    "you can't get the flu from an attunated vaccine"!!
    (not true for "flu-mist")


    if you aren't sure whether you have the flu or a cold, get up and take a shower and get dressed.....

    if you can, its a cold!!:d
  13. by   jjjoy
    While the flu vaccine may not cause the flu, it does seem to have an adverse effect in some people that is strong enough for them to wonder if they would've been better off taking their chances with the flu. I do think it's counterproductive to deny personal experience and tell someone they didn't experience something they claim they did. Maybe they didn't have the flu, but they felt worse than just "slight discomfort" or whatever the advertised adverse effects are.

    At some point, I do think a line must be drawn where choosing to not be vaccinated/immunized/screened might mean choosing to not participate in a desired activity. Eg, currently, you can't teach kids if you refuse any kind of TB screening. Maybe geriatric nurses would have the flu vaccine mandated. There will be disagreement over where that line is. And eventually, further knowledge and experience will tell us there's a better way to do it. But you can't please all people all the time and you can't see into the future. So we all just do the best we can with the info we have now and hope for the best in the future.