By Liz Zemba
Registered nurse Sherri Adobato is accustomed to administering flu vaccine.
When it came to her own health, she usually skipped the shot — until a co-worker, David P. Sechrist, fell victim to a deadly bout with the H1N1 virus.
“I’m a nurse, and I never get the flu shot, even though I give them, because I believe that’s everybody’s choice,” said Adobato, the employee health nurse for Fayette EMS.
Two health systems — Excela Health in Westmoreland County and UPMC in Allegheny — are debating whether public health interests might outweigh the personal choice of health care workers. Two health systems in Philadelphia have made influenza vaccinations mandatory for their employees.
The benefits to patients are clear if health care workers get flu shots, maintains Arthur Caplan, director of the Center for Bioethics at the University of Pennsylvania.
“If you can get close to 100 percent vaccination rates, you can cut patient death rates from flu by 40 percent,” Caplan said.
[Note from SaneVax: Please show us the scientific studies to corroborate the 40% reduction in deaths.]