CDC - Why Most Nurses Don't Get the Flu Vaccine - page 5

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   General E. Speaking, RN
    Quote from ecugirl
    It also takes anywhere from 2 weeks to a month for the vaccine to kick in; which is why they start offering it in October. You must have forgotten about the 2003-2004 flu season which peaked in December and had the highest cases of pediatric deaths from flu?? Why take the chance of getting sick with the flu and spreading it to your family and your patients? Did you also know that you are contagious with the flu 2 days before you become sypmtomatic? There are numerous outbreaks and patient deaths documented from infected healthcare workers with the flu which is why not only CDC but JCAHO has jumped on this bandwagon too. Our patients are living longer with more chronic illnesses making them more susceptible and we as nurses have to get out of the mindset that we are ten feet tall and bullet proof! There are organisms out there these days that will kill you and you have to protect yourself.
    I was wondering if anyone would mention this. It is true, you are not protected immediately. You can get the flu shot and still be infected because the vaccine hasn't started working yet. While giving flu shots for Texas Dept of Health, I used to stress this to every patient. Many times I think people say they have the "flu" but they are walking around and able to function. My experience with the flu was I felt like I was dying. Every muscle in my body was aching, fever then chills- it was horrible! I do not agree with bullying others into getting a flu shot. I feel the choice to immunize should be made by informed consent. However, if you choose not to get vaccinated, you must accept the real possibility that as a nurse it is possible that you COULD get the flu and then pass that infection on to another. Personally, that is not a risk I am willing to take.
  2. by   dmooli
    No matter what your reason or excuse is - refusing to get the flu vaccine is just plain stupid. What other infectious disease would you prefer to get - as opposed to the vaccine? Tetanus? Diphtheria? Polio? Pertussis? Measles? Mumps? Chickenpox? Meningitis? Typhus? Cholera? Hepatitis A? Hepatitis B?
    These are diseases that are vaccine preventable, and we have all availed ourselves of them as the need arose. To deny the protection of this vaccine for yourself, your family and those you care for is just plain stupid. It is difficult to reconcile the medical axiom, "First Do No Harm", with someone who refuses to be vaccinated. I ask you - IF you get influenza, to whom do you take it home to? Husbands? A defenseless little one? Children? Grandchildren? Parents? Grandparents? An immuno compromised person?
    You do have the right to refuse the vaccine, but I don't think you should be allowed to work in healthcare. I think you should isolate yourself from society and take your chances of getting influenza without endangering the rest of us. You also have the right to jump off a bridge. It is not a particularly healthful practice, but at least it causes bodily harm to only your self.
    You put yourself out there as a professional healthcare provider, trained, educated, degreed and licensed. I expect you to be as well protected, as it is within your power to be, BEFORE you have any contact with me, my family, or any other member of the human race.
    As many people will die this year from influenza as will die from breast cancer. We each need to do our part to make sure that WE are not a part of the equation in an influenza death.
    We can either maintain our autonomy and status as professionals and police ourselves, or WE WILL BE POLICED. If the healthcare worker vaccination rate does not go up, then it will be mandated and legislated for us. At least fifteen states have laws on the books to mandating health care workers in SNF's, to get the vaccine, and many states mandate offering the influenza and pneumonia vaccines to all patients over 65 during flu season. Don't think it is going to stop there.
    As I see it vaccines will become mandatory. Either we act responsibly by getting the vaccine voluntarily 0R we will be mandated to get it by state and federal regulations. IT is your choice,
    ( and we may have already blown it).
    (I am not talking about those with severe allergies or who have legitimate contraindications, )
  3. by   General E. Speaking, RN
    Quote from dmooli
    No matter what your reason or excuse is - refusing to get the flu vaccine is just plain stupid. What other infectious disease would you prefer to get - as opposed to the vaccine? Tetanus? Diphtheria? Polio? Pertussis? Measles? Mumps? Chickenpox? Meningitis? Typhus? Cholera? Hepatitis A? Hepatitis B?
    These are diseases that are vaccine preventable, and we have all availed ourselves of them as the need arose. To deny the protection of this vaccine for yourself, your family and those you care for is just plain stupid. It is difficult to reconcile the medical axiom, "First Do No Harm", with someone who refuses to be vaccinated. I ask you - IF you get influenza, to whom do you take it home to? Husbands? A defenseless little one? Children? Grandchildren? Parents? Grandparents? An immuno compromised person?
    You do have the right to refuse the vaccine, but I don't think you should be allowed to work in healthcare. I think you should isolate yourself from society and take your chances of getting influenza without endangering the rest of us. You also have the right to jump off a bridge. It is not a particularly healthful practice, but at least it causes bodily harm to only your self.
    You put yourself out there as a professional healthcare provider, trained, educated, degreed and licensed. I expect you to be as well protected, as it is within your power to be, BEFORE you have any contact with me, my family, or any other member of the human race.
    As many people will die this year from influenza as will die from breast cancer. We each need to do our part to make sure that WE are not a part of the equation in an influenza death.
    We can either maintain our autonomy and status as professionals and police ourselves, or WE WILL BE POLICED. If the healthcare worker vaccination rate does not go up, then it will be mandated and legislated for us. At least fifteen states have laws on the books to mandating health care workers in SNF's, to get the vaccine, and many states mandate offering the influenza and pneumonia vaccines to all patients over 65 during flu season. Don't think it is going to stop there.
    As I see it vaccines will become mandatory. Either we act responsibly by getting the vaccine voluntarily 0R we will be mandated to get it by state and federal regulations. IT is your choice,
    ( and we may have already blown it).
    (I am not talking about those with severe allergies or who have legitimate contraindications, )
    yes, it makes you wonder how you would feel if you knew a nurse (who refuses the flu shot) was taking care of your immunocompromised grandmother or even your child. All of our patient's are someone's loved one. It is interesting to turn the table and think how you would feel if it were happening to you or your family.
  4. by   mysticalwaters1
    I try to get flu shots every year too. I missed last years due to the shortage. My manager told me they were stopping it to give to community members then long behold I never heard about it again so I didn't get one. I think it's a good idea to get since you are working around immunocompromised people but should not be mandated. And as far as mild side effects of a "sore arm." EVERY time I get one I feel like somebody body slammed my arm. I mean extremely sore like I've never felt before! And I allways don't feel so hot after it. I feel a little achy and warm. But that's it. However it does go away in a couple days. Maybe I have low tolerance for pain but my gosh it sure doesn't feel mild. I usually deal with it. Lets see since I worked in the hospital these are the illnesses that developed in 3 years: flu, strep throat FIRST time ever, lots colds, stomach virus (straight nauseas 4 days straight and other coworkers same exact length of symptoms) /c diarrhea, and actually developed pneumonia. I'm 25 I have NEVER been so sick!!!!!!!!! I wash my hands. I worked those 3 years on a respitory floor maybe that was it. And previously had not been sick for a good 5 years. So for myself and pts I try to get a vaccine. But there are so many strains I thought so at times it seems fruitless but if it can prevent a small bit then why not?
  5. by   eltrip
    My easy out - I am allergic to eggs. I just practice good handwashing & have taught it to my daughter...can't wait to teach handwashing to the baby!
  6. by   dlsgroovymom
    reoifj
    Last edit by dlsgroovymom on Sep 24, '06
  7. by   rjtucker
    As an educator, I am finding it appalling that so many professionals are so uninformed. I would encourage all of us to become informed before spreading only our misguided opinions about something so serious as Influenza Vaccine. For those of you who do want to become informed, please go to this website for more information about Influenza Vaccine. I have written to the CDC for specific information regarding all the components, including preservatives in the vaccines. Also, as a matter of note, NO ONE under 6 months of age can receive the vaccine, and NO ONE under age 5 can receive the nasal innoculation.
    http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dhqp/id_in...a_vaccine.html
    Rebecca, MEd, RN-Paramedic
    Last edit by rjtucker on Sep 22, '06
  8. by   rjtucker
    I worked ER for 30 years before moving into Bioterrorism and Nurse Education. I can tell you that I've personally had to start IVs on "down" ER staff because of the flu outbreak. The concept of the statement that everyone knows that ER staff have the immune systems of a fleet of Hummers and therefore don't NEED the flu vaccine is unfortunately very incorrect. Before killed-virus vaccines were available, none of us wanted the vaccine for obvious reasons. However, now that we have attenuated vaccines, there's really no excuse. I've had to endure the dropping of my peers like flies in flu season and have worked side by side with off-duty ambulance staff to survive in the ER during flu season. That is no longer necessary with the vaccines we now have. Also, if the person who mentioned that the flu vaccine is attributed to the development of Alzheimer's Disease in later life and also the cause of Autism (post number 48) would share the source of this statement, it would be greatly appreciated.Thanks.....
    Last edit by rjtucker on Sep 22, '06
  9. by   meintheUSA
    I have been in the health field for 8 years. Last year was the first time I had the flu shot.
    My arm was sore for a few days, I did not get "sick" from it, and when I was feeling under the weather, it was mild as compared to the past.
    I am glad that I have a choice. A choice to learn about it and a choice to have the shot.
    My 35 yr old daughter received it in 2004. Her arm was effected from it for 3 months. She ended up in PT. Will she get it again? She has. The knowledge of the benefits out wayed the risks.
    Again, I am blessed with the fact I do have a choice.
  10. by   GWL1950
    Quote from ERNP
    I am skeptical of flu shots for a couple of reasons....

    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.
    Um, seems to me you might want to reconsider your conclusion for a couple of reasons.

    First, sampling experience in the ER is skewed for a variety of reasons. The universe of people presenting with flu is not the universe of those innoculated. A conclusion about limited effectiveness requires sampling those who were given the flu shot, not those who turned up in the ER.

    Second, the people who weren't vaccinated, got the flu and came to the ER are not a random sample either: the risk factors and recommendations presumably result in a vaccination group that is biased toward the elderly, who presumably have greater response to flu and those with chronic conditions that exacerabate symptoms, which would seem likely to reduce the effectiveness of vaccines somewhat as well as exacerbate flu symptoms.

    Third, there are retention artifacts. Absent a neutral protocol, one is more likely to remember events inconsistent with social expectations (flu shots prevent flu) and consistent with personal expectations (I don't think it does).

    Even if they were statistically valid, I wonder if ER samples of flu patients probably are distorted because they are less likely to be private insurance and more likely to be Medicaid.

    It is interesting to see how we construct experience based theory.
  11. by   West_Coast_Ken
    Quote from meintheUSA
    I am glad that I have a choice. A choice to learn about it and a choice to have the shot...The knowledge of the benefits out wayed the risks.
    I'm with you on both accounts. While it is clear on a scientific level getting the flu shot really is a no-brainer, I strongly resist the notion that anyone be forced to get a shot--even if it is so very clear it's in everyone's best interest to do so.

    Yes on the flu shot.

    NO on being forced to get one.
  12. by   weirdRN
    I got very ill the three years that I got the shot while still in the Army. Now that I am a civilian and have a choice, I choose NOT to get the shot. I have not been seriously ill in about five years. Guess what? It has been five years since I have had a flu shot.
  13. by   West_Coast_Ken
    Quote from WhimsieRN
    I got very ill the three years that I got the shot while still in the Army. Now that I am a civilian and have a choice, I choose NOT to get the shot. I have not been seriously ill in about five years. Guess what? It has been five years since I have had a flu shot.
    Bummer. I've had the flu shot the past 16 years and guess what?

    Never, ever had an adverse reaction in the least (not even a sore arm).
    Never, ever gotten GBS, Autism, Alzheimer's, or AIDS!
    Never, ever had the flu, either!! Imagine that.

    I'm going to keep getting the flu shot for myself, my family & friends, and my pts.


close