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nurses are declining “mandatory” flu shots in droves


“Influenza immunization programs are not designed to eradicate influenza viruses. influenza vaccinations offer, at best, short term protection against very few of the myriad known (and ever evolving) virus strains. Vaccine efficacy is, moreover, known only after the fact. The vaccination “cocktail” is premised upon an educated guess by World Health Organization experts which influenza strains will be most prevalent in the northern hemisphere during the upcoming flu season. In years when the vaccine and circulating viruses are not well matched, there will be decreased vaccination benefit. The CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report for Jan. 11, 2013 indicate a 62 percent estimated vaccine effectiveness this season. Estimated vaccine effectiveness was 52 percent for the 2011-12 flu season and 60 percent for the 2010-11 flu season.”  From a February 2013 article written by John F. Tocci and Amy Doherty written for the Massachusetts Bar Association (Mandating Flu Immunization of Health Care Workers: Not the Best Medicine)

“Organizations such as the American Hospital Association and American Academy of Family Physicians support mandatory flu vaccines for healthcare workers, with exceptions in the case of health or religious opposition. But nurses have provided some of the most vocal opposition to such mandates.”  From an article on Health Leaders Media called How to Sidestep Hospital Flu Shot Mandate.

Do you remember the hubub created last December, when a pregnant RN from Pennsylvania (DB) declined to receive a mandatory Flu Vaccine?  For the most part, the media, not to mention numerous physicians organizations, vilified her and did their best to make her look like a fool — a lone wolf — an unintelligent radical trying to promote her own crazy agenda.   Almost a year later, it seems that D was not nearly as alone as she may have felt at the time.  Just a couple of states over, Boston’s world famous Brigham and Women’s Hospital has the Massachusetts Nurses Association fighting for nurses right to choose whether or not Flu Vaccinations will remain optional — and not just if you’re pregnant.

This particular hospital has a Flu Vaccination rate of just over 3/4 (77%).  And despite all the gimmicks they’ve tried, they can’t seem to push it any higher — something that most entities (schools, hospitals, nursing homes, etc) are scrambling to do, with federal monies being increasingly tied to vaccination rates.   This means that of Bingham’s 3,200 nurses, almost 800 have opted not to receive the Flu Shots.  What could possibly make so many educated and seemingly intelligent people so loathe to vaccinate?  We’ll get to that momentarily, but first I want to talk about the law itself.

In order to get the Flu Shot actually ‘mandated’ in Massachusetts healthcare workers, the laws will have to be changed.  According to Mass.gov’s “Immunization Guidelines” (Adult Occupational Immunizations: Massachusetts Recommendations and Requirements for 2014), the statute currently reads, “Licensed health care facilities shall offer influenza vaccine at no cost to all employees and ensure that an employee who declines vaccination signs a statement declining vaccination and affirming that s/he received information about the risks and benefits of vaccination.”  Pretty simple.  You don’t want a Flu Shot, you sign a waiver and move on.  No muss, no fuss, no harassment, loss of job, or jail time.  But let’s get back to the question I left hanging in the previous paragraph.

If you are wondering why almost a quarter of the nurses at Bringham are declining these shots — shots that are admittedly not much better than 50% effective at preventing Flu (see the quote at the top of the page) — take a few minutes to browse THESE POSTS on Flu Vaccines and their many complications / side effects.  Not only is it an eye-opener, but I can assure you that the Flu is not nearly as dangerous as we have been led to believe (HERE is a short article on this subject by a physician who actually lives in Massachusetts).  By the way, all of us who continue to fight this battle tip our hats to you D!.


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