Mandatory Flu Shot Bill Is Reintroduced

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends in a new policy statement that all health care personnel should be required to receive an annual influenza vaccine. The policy, Recommendation for Mandatory Influenza Immunization of All Health Care Personnel, published in the October 2010 print issue of Pediatrics (published online Sept. 13), states that “despite the efforts of many organizations to improve influenza immunization rates with the use of voluntary campaigns, influenza coverage among health care personnel remains unacceptably low.”

About the same time, the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA) and the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) also endorsed mandatory vaccination policies for all health care workers to reduce risk of infection among patients and employees.

The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices began recommending influenza immunization for health care workers in the early 1980s; however, according to a Rand Corp. survey issued last year, 39 percent of health care professionals said they would not get a flu vaccine, even with the threat of pandemic flu. With that threat over, that rate will likely be even lower this year.

Mandatory influenza immunization for all health care personnel is “ethically justified, necessary and long overdue to ensure patient safety,” the AAP says in their policy statement. Not everyone agrees, however.

This time last year, for example, New York hospitals, university health systems and even the state required that health care workers get the flu vaccine, according to an ABC News Oct. 2, 2009 report. This did not bode well with everyone.

“It makes me feel very vulnerable,” a nurse at a rally held at the state capitol told ABC News affiliate WHAM in Rochester, N.Y. Others said a mandatory vaccination requirement is an infringement of their civil rights.

Vaccine shortages put the policy on hold, but the State of New York Department of Health is writing a permanent regulation to make influenza vaccination a condition of employment for health care personnel, according to Infectious Disease News.

State Sen. Tom Duane, who chairs the health committee, said he is reintroducing a flu shot bill, according to The Epoch Times.

“People don’t like being told what to do, but frankly, if you work in a hospital setting, flu vaccination should be mandatory,” Duane (D-Manhattan) told the New York Daily News. “There will be people mad about it, but I do believe it’s necessary.”

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16 Responses to “Mandatory Flu Shot Bill Is Reintroduced”

  1. Dusty says:

    This is a violation of civil rights-whether you work in a public venue or not. Any person should understand that there are several types of influenza out there and the flu vaccine can only cover about four of them, so in turn you are not protected. This is a false sense of security and it’s also just big money saying purchase our product. I never receive the flu shot and have not in over five years, I build up my own immunities and when I’m sick I stay home. Thank you

  2. RITA says:

    I don’t get flu shots. I don’t agree that the government should be allowed to require them. It seems that the people that do receive the shot have more health issues after receiving the shot. Don’t want them – don’t ever plan to get them…

  3. Stacy says:

    It was mandatory at our institution last year. I have never received flu shots in the past
    and rarely ever got the flu. This past year after the flu shot I was sick for over a week.
    I feel it is certainly a violation of civil rights.

  4. Lori says:

    I have never received a flu shot, mostly due to my lack of confidence in the effectiveness and safety of an ever-changing vaccine. While I work in healthcare, I have zero patient contact. For the government to consider imposing such a requirement would seem to cross the line into invading my personal healthcare choices as an adult. As a child of the early 1970s, I was very blessed to have not suffered more adverse effects from the required childhood immunizations of that time period. However, the major difference to me is that the flu vaccine is an ever-changing concoction of substances with comparatively little proof of effectiveness and safety, versus our common childhood vaccinations which have undergone a great deal more study and testing and proved highly effective in combating epidemics. I choose not to take the gamble on the flu shot, and that decision should remain my own.

  5. Sally says:

    I have worked in healthcare my entire career and I get the flu shot every year, BY CHOICE.
    I had the flu over 20 years ago and it incapacitated me for over two weeks. I haven’t had the flu since I started getting the vaccine. It is a personal choice to be vaccinated or not and I don’t think it should be mandated for healthcare workers. However, I do beleive that employers should be more diligent in sending employees home that are visibly too ill to work and not allow them back in the work place without a note from a doctor stating they are not contagious and are fit to work.

  6. Vanessa says:

    Every individual is different and has the right to control what goes into her body. If I could be certain of flu shots effectiveness against flu, I still wouldn’t get it because I am not a sickly person, do not belong to the groups must vulnerable to flu, have no patient contact, and I take basic precautions to avoid infectious diseases. I think people who do not need flu shots are getting them out of a combination of fear and misinformation. My understanding is that no one even knows how many strains of flu exist because they are constantly mutating. So the vaccine available each year is an educated guess. People don’t understand the flu, which is exactly how drug companies like it.

  7. Donna says:

    I have asthma and therefore get a flu shot every year, as does my husband in order to protect me. I have been VERY ill with respiratory distress in the past, and also had one child with severe asthma. I do everything I can to protect myself, but I am very distressed when a visibly sick person is in public or in my workplace, knowing that even with a flu shot I could become sick with a possibly life-threatening illness. Talk about feeling vulnerable!! The shots may not be perfect, but for now it is all we have. Mandatory shots seem to be going overboard, but I disagree with the conspiracy theories. The answer is probably somewhere in the middle.

  8. Peggy says:

    I had never gotten the flu shot until two years ago. When I did I got very ill, I was down for two weeks. Making the flu shot mandatory is another example of how the government is trying to take over our lives. What is happening to our freedom. We do not know what is in those vaccines and that is the way they want it. Besides they are only partially effective since the strain keeps mutating.

  9. leonna middleton says:

    i talked to a woman in krogers the first of month and asked her if she had gotten the flu shot ,she said yes her dr. said she should get one for a couple of reasons. I asked her what her dr. said was in shot,she said a virus,I said there is more than that in them I told her and she said next time she went to her dr. ,she was going to ask him about it..another woman in the store said the gov. doesn’t care about the people,its because of the money they make off of the flu shot,I said that is so true

  10. michelle says:

    a couple years ago my husband, the kid’s and i all went for the flu shot and my husband, who rarely even gets sick, suddenly acted lethargic than fainted on the floor out in public. the emergency room didn’t determine it to be a bad side effect of the shot, so then what was it? it was definetly related to the shot?! i just don’t trust it and feel it should be a personal decision and health care workers need to be informed of other measures to be taken when sick or around an individual who is.

  11. Donna Berger says:

    I will never get a flu shot nor immunizations. Although not proven yet, immunizations are causing children to get autism among other aliments.. I work in the health field and will quit before I am forced to get any kind of immunizations!! Crazy world we live in when our rights are taken away and we can be forced to get diseases.

  12. Camille says:

    Just another way for drug companies to stay on top. They all work hand and hand. If the government makes it mandatory the drug companies will make money. There are many other ways to keep yourself healthy other than getting vaccines. Everyone should have the right to make that decision. If you are sick you should stay home.

  13. Marilyn says:

    I have never had the flu in my life (52 years so far), and I have had NO communicable disease in more than 10 years, not even a head cold. My mother lived for 86 years without flu shots, and never got the flu. Why mess with with a vaccine that can’t target the virus and often has undesirable harmful side effects?

  14. Aubrey says:

    As published by the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine in 2005, “The College points out that “given the ubiquitous nature of influenza in the community, patients will continue to be exposed to influenza through family members and friends regardless of the vaccination status of their health care workers, with whom they have much less intimate contact.”

    I have never received the Flu or H1N1 vaccine nor will I CHOOSE to. Enforcing this as a mandatory aspect of my profession is disconcerting, to say the least. This enforcement is a complete violation of my civil rights and as much as I enjoy my career as an ER BSN RN, I may consider changing my profession before succumbing to this implementation. In addition, in my opinion, this is one of the reasons the subsequent generations are becoming increasingly more ill with critical illnesses as they have no natural immunity anymore….. this is where pharmaceutical companies and lawyers are driving our vaccination guidelines. Frightening.

  15. Nancy Brown says:

    I will not take a flu shot or any other injection. Do people really know what is in those injections?! NO, not the average person. They do what their “practicing” physician tells them to do. There are several chemicals that are lethal to the human body, if taken in large amouts–such as, Mercury, aluminum and also aborted fetus cells. These injections can reck havoc on the human body from the brain to the liver and kidneys. No thank you and if I have to loose my job for it…then so be it. The Health community can do other preventative measures the natural way. During the cold/flu season I take oreagano oil. This is all natural and it is an anti-viral, anti-bacterial, anti-parasitic..etc. If the people would take better care of their bodies and eat properly then we would not have to be facing this situation. :)

  16. Eleanora Reeves says:

    I will not be PUSHED into getting a flu shot, or anything else for that matter, the day someone or something tells me what I have to put into my body is the day I look for other lines of work. I have been in the healthcare environment for over 30 yrs and have worked closely with residents and staff during flu season, I personally watched my co-workers and the residents become very sick from their flu shots, and thanks but no thanks. I also remember being asked to come in on my days off to cover for those who were sick from their flu shots. I will not be told to have a flu shot, this is my right. I will look for another line of work if it comes to this, and who knows where they will go after this, first the mandatory flu shot then what???

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