[SaneVax: Historically speaking over 50% of healthcare workers refuse the annual flu shots. This year, many of these people face the potential loss of their jobs if they exercise their right to decide whether a specific medical intervention, the flu vaccine, is right for them. What is wrong with this picture? Any medical intervention, including vaccines, carry an inherent risk of serious side effects for some people. How can a ‘civilized’ society threaten people with the loss of their means of support for exercising their right to informed refusal?]
Mandated Flu Shots for Health Workers on Shaky Ground – American Journal of Physicians and Surgeons
TUCSON, Ariz., Dec. 12, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ – Health workers nationwide are facing an ultimatum to either receive an influenza vaccination, or be fired. TriHealth, for example, one of Cincinnati’s largest employers, recently threatened to fire 150 workers if they did not get the vaccine, or a religious or medical exemption, by Dec 3.
The presumption is that the vaccine is safe and effective, and that health workers have a duty to protect their patients from a potentially lethal disease. But according to an article in the winter issue of the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons, evidence of efficacy is weak, and safety data are limited. In particular, there is no evidence showing that vaccinated workers are less likely to transmit virus.
In the past, more than half of health workers have declined to get an annual flu vaccine. “It is demeaning to assume that they are all uninformed or irresponsible,” writes Jane M. Orient, M.D. An on-line, in-house survey by the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS) showed that of about 700 respondents, nearly 80% think that influenza vaccination should be a matter of personal choice. More than 150 physicians expressed willingness to risk their medical staff privileges to avoid the vaccine. Colorado workers have formed an activist group, Colorado Health Care Workers against Forced Vaccination.
Read the entire article here.