questionsshould healthcare workers be fired if they refuseā€¦


"I cannot think of a reason for any health care professional to decline influenza immunization that's valid"

Neither can I, Dr. Schaffner.

"They subject themselves to more influenza by not being immunized, and they certainly do not participate in putting patient safety first."

Agreed. I have no problem with the hospital's decision.


It's a condition of employment. These "health care professionals" should know the necessity and the need to protect their patients.

I've no problem with the hospital's decision either.


Getting a flu shot does not prevent you from spreading the virus. It only prevents you from having the symptoms yourselves.

Just because someone has been immunized, it doesn't mean they can't still give you the flu.

I don't agree that someone should be fired for refusing to get a shot. I haven't had a flu shot in years and haven't had the flu in the same amount of time. Perhaps I've just been lucky, but the 3-4 years prior when I actually did get a flu shot, I still got the flu.

Your best bet to prevent yourself from getting the flu is washing your hands and cooking/eating at home as opposed to going to some restaurant where the underpaid cook can't afford to take a day off when he certainly shouldn't be preparing food for other people.


I think I would have to hear their reasoning behind refusing a flu shot to have an opinion. If they refused because Jenny McCarthy said vaccines were bad, then they should be barred from working in the medical field indefinitely.

@capguncowboy: Do you have anything to back up your satement? I believe you, I've just never heard that before.


It's a hard question to answer. I keep trying to answer it in my head, and I still can't really say yes or no.

There is a significant data point about viral transmission that seems to be conveniently ignored by this, though. I don't get the flu. I don't get colds. Even when my daughter was little, and in grade school, if she caught a cold while in school, I didn't pick it up from her. On the other hand, I've come in contact with people who had the flu, or a cold, and then had other people that I saw later in the day get sick. I now scrupulously wash my hands if I'm around someone who is sick, just so that I don't spread it.

On the other hand, certain things are a condition of employment, however inconvenient that might be. While I worked, I had certain limitations on my life, and I accepted those limitations, even when they were inconvenient (or seemed not to make sense).

You get to make choices in life, but you have to live with the consequences of them.

So it goes.


Doesn't getting the symptoms make you more likely to transmit? Someone who is coughing, sneezing and has a runny nose would seem to naturally emit more virus into the surrounding environment. Not only that, but the virus won't replicate as much in someone who is vaccinated. So even if they do cough, the viral payload of that cough would be significantly smaller.


Should a cook get fired for not washing his hands before making your burger???


I was at a hospital recently where the nurses were not required to take flu shots but were required to wear face masks in lieu.


It is a condition of employment. Immunizing health care workers has been a huge push from accreditation organizations, right now a mandatory immunization policy is expected during inspections.

Patients and their families expect that the hospital will do everything possible to ensure that they are not exposed needlessly to pathogens. This includes influenza, but is also the reason that gloves, handwashing, and the like are required as well. If a health care worker continually ignores handwashing requirements they will likely be fired the same way, for the same reason.


If it's a requirement for your job, and you don't comply, it appears to my untrained eye to be insubordination.


I went to school for phlebotomy and was tested and vaccinated for Hepatits, the Flu and TB (the TB test is creepy, since they inject something beneath your skin and check for a reaction at a later date). Before we could do our training, we had to get quite a few vaccinations aside from the ones mentioned, since I didn't bother checking what I was being vaccinated for, just upset I had such a high medical bill afterwards. You'd think they'd offer it through the college or something, but no, I had to pay for everything out of pocket since some weren't covered by insurance because there was no medical reason for me to be getting the tests or vaccines.
Maybe firing the nurses was a bit excessive, but I definitely wouldn't have let them come in. Unpaid leave of absence, perhaps? Either way, the flu is super bad, especially in hospitals. A woman I used to work with is sick and was throwing up blood and the hospital told her NOT to come in bc of the flu. They sent someone to her instead.


Healthcare workers probably have some of the stronger immune systems than most people because they are always exposed to everything. I understand the concern, but I don't think anyone should be made to do anything, this is America. Even though many of our rights have been drifting away for years.


Just to share I think that flu shots are one of the no-so-great ideas./ and getting fired for not having one is just a stupid move by managment. Some shots will give you long-term or permanent protection against some virus. Flu shots are a gamble on the part of the manufactures and the part of the public. One of the reasons you have to get another shot every year is because there is a new strain of the flu every year. The shot just protects you against the one they THINK is going to be the most common one for the coming year. And it does nothing to prevent the spread of other kinds of flu. I would much rather know that I actually have a flu so I can treat and restrict the spread of it rather than feeling fine and spread the virus willy-nilly without any knowledge I was doing so.,