Hospitals Crack Down on Workers Refusing Flu Shots



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Patients can refuse a flu shot. Should doctors and nurses have that right, too? That is the thorny question surfacing as U.S. hospitals increasingly crack down on employees who won’t get flu shots, with some workers losing their jobs over their refusal.

“Where does it say that I am no longer a patient if I’m a nurse,” wondered Carrie Calhoun, a longtime critical care nurse in suburban Chicago who was fired last month after she refused a flu shot.

Hospitals’ get-tougher measures coincide with an earlier-than-usual flu season hitting harder than in recent mild seasons. Flu is widespread in most states, and at least 20 children have died.

Most doctors and nurses do get flu shots. But in the past two months, at least 15 nurses and other hospital staffers in four states have been fired for refusing, and several others have resigned, according to affected workers, hospital authorities and published reports.

In Rhode Island, one of three states with tough penalties behind a mandatory vaccine policy for health care workers, more than 1,000 workers recently signed a petition opposing the policy, according to a labor union that has filed suit to end the regulation.

Why would people whose job is to protect sick patients refuse a flu shot? The reasons vary: allergies to flu vaccine, which are rare; religious objections; and skepticism about whether vaccinating health workers will prevent flu in patients.

Dr. Carolyn Bridges, associate director for adult immunization at the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, says the strongest evidence is from studies in nursing homes, linking flu vaccination among health care workers with fewer patient deaths from all causes.

Post Continues on www.newsmax.com


  • piolenc

    Years ago I read a popular paperback book about vaccination. It was very pro-vaccination, but it was factual, and one of the facts given there made me very suspicious of seasonal ‘flu vaccines.
    The fact is that it takes 3 to 5 years to bring a vaccine for a new ‘flu strain to market. Vaccinations against viral infections take longer to counter with vaccines because viruses cannot be cultured directly like bacteria – a cell culture line first has to be established to serve as a host for propagating the virus. How, then (I asked myself) can there possibly be a vaccine available for a seasonal ‘flu that is different every year? Either the vaccinators have to know what’s coming, or they have to develop a kind of generic immunization, which isn’t likely to work very well. Knowing in advance essentially means controlling the source of the seasonal infection, so I prefer to believe that they’re just making a quick buck by peddling whatever they have in overstock as this year’s Special. Either way it simply isn’t possible for the ‘flu vaccination to do any good, except to the producers’ bottom line – it’s physically impossible because the right tool will never be available when it’s needed.
    Interesting how the CDC concentrates on data gathered in nursing homes and ignores the fact that statistical correlation does not imply causation. What, for example, if the nursing homes which insisted on vaccinations for their staff were also more careful in ways that actually benefited their patients? And what of the many seasonal ‘flu studies not concentrating on custodial care that show NO benefit and some harm from ‘flu vaccinations?
    The answer, I’m afraid, is that only one point of view is permitted…

  • michypoo

    I thought this was a democracy not a dictatorship! Individual health is each persons choice and responsibility.
    What will be dictated next?

  • rusureuwant2know

    If you think this is bad, try telling them to use the TB gold test instead of the skin test (which gets it wrong far too many times) The number of people (that don’t have to be) on TB antibiotics is staggering. Get this: if you’re in a nursing home and they give you the skin test, you HAVE to take 6 months of an antibiotic that can have hallucinations as a side effect.

    • rusureuwant2know

      Oh, and the same applies to the staff of the nursing home. Time to dump the skin test.

    • vanguard7

      @rusureuwant2know
       I tested positive for TB before I left Korea in 2003 and ended up on the same 6 month run of some drug (don’t remember it being referred to as an antibiotic but I do remember I had to take vitamin B6 (?) along with it.)  I don’t recall having any kind of hallucinations with it but then again, if I did have them, would I have known it??  Supposedly, the good thing is that now I supposedly don’t have to worry about getting TB in the future.  Just to be clear, when they tested me, they stated that I “had just been exposed to TB but hadn’t contracted it…..yet.”

    • piolenc

      @rusureuwant2know Bizarre. Even here in the Third World, a diagnosis of TB has to be confirmed by a sputum test and culture before they start throwing drugs at it. Subjecting someone to six months of toxic “medication” on the basis of a skin test is the height of incompetence.

  • rusureuwant2know

    How about it doesn’t work and it doesn’t protect patients as reasons not to get it?

  • RamblingRick

    It is not only the live or atenuated virus that creates the reactions, but the adjuvant added to accelerate the immune reaction can and is often one that throws the immune system into a hyper-drive scenario, often not returning to normal function and therefore forcing autoimmune illnesses of multiple types found in chronic disease proceses. This is what happened to both deployed and non-deployed military and contractors during the Persian Gulf era, creating Gulf War Syndrome, of which thousands have now dieed and ten of thousands more are gravely ill.

  • MikeYoung

    Unless the CDC or any doctor can guarantee that a Flu Shot will totally prevent a person from getting the Flu,  the CDC, nor a Hospital  Medical Staff should Mandate anybody has to get a Flu Shot or any other vaccine for that matter in order for them to remain Employed. A Medical Expert should not be able to force anybody into receiving a vaccine for anything unless they can prove the patient and caregiver will not get sick from the alleged virus after taking the vaccine.

    • Evermyrtle

      @MikeYoung To think you have a right to force anyone to take any kind of shot is totally irrational. I am just mulish enough that an order for  me would guarantee that I not not get the thing.

      • MikeYoung

        @Evermyrtle I believe you misunderstood my comment, no Hospital and or Medical Organization such as the CDC should be allowed to force a vaccine on anybody, period.  No matter if it is the CDC or a Pharmaceutical manufacturer of a vaccine, nobody can give any guarantee that a vaccine will work. I am agreeing with you.

        • Evermyrtle

          @MikeYoung  @Evermyrtle
           I am sorry, I worded that badly, I was agreeing with you, also, I was trying to back you up with my vote. I’ll do better nest time.

  • RamblingRick

    Sorry for the typo on Flu Shots or No Flu Shosts?
    It should have read Flu Shots or No Flu Shots?
     
    And for guest 18, not all “high risks” are created equal.
    But your thought of public disregard and hygeine practices is very much a problem and if care is practiced, communicable diseases could be reduced considerably. Thank you for that point well made.

  • vanguard7

    This is totally wrong and immoral.  Where does the Constitution or any law state that the government has  the right to force upon the population something that cannot be undone.  I fought long and hard over the forced Anthrax vaccine by the military but eventually lost…eventually being subjected to 3 injections of the crap.  I never agreed with the vaccine and the more I learned about it the more disgusted I got with it and now I’m paying the price.  I’ve never had an ear infection in my life, I never had any joint problems, and I never had any allergies but starting one week after the first injection I ended up with an ear infection.  Three months and two more injections later I was back in the U.S. and still suffering with recurring ear infections which I still get today about every 2 or 3 months (now) and it has been 12 years now since those injections.  Also, by the time I got home I couldn’t walk on one leg because my knee hurt so bad.  After six months of arguing with my (military) doctor she finally agreed to do an MRI while saying “alright, we’ll go ahead and waste $10,000 of the Air Force’s money and do an MRI just to prove there’s nothing wrong with your knee.”  Lo and behold, the results came back and I had a torn meniscus.  A tear that had gotten much worse after 6 months of hobbling around on it and turned an otherwise simple surgical procedure into a 4-hour surgery because the damage ended up extending all around to the back of my knee.  (The surgeon was not at all happy with my doctor and had some choice names for her.)  Since the vaccines I’ve been real susceptible to broken bones….elbow broken, wrist broken, shouler damaged from worn cartilage, surgery on my other knee due to a completely severed ACL after a minor bump, I’ve developed several allergies and am to the point that the only antibiotic I can take without an allergic reaction to is Ciprofloxin (about the hardest-hitting antibiotic there is).  God forbid I get any kind of sulfa-based drug or Erythromiacin or similar drug.  Although I wanted to make it a 30-year career, I retired as soon as I hit 20 just so I wouldn’t be subjected to anymore injections.  Meanwhile, the military refuses to admit that there are any problems with the vaccine and I still suffer to the point that there are days I can hardly get out of bed or out of a chair due to the pain in my joints and muscles.  After I retired and got a civilian doctor I mentioned to her that “you know? I never had problems like these until I went to Saudi and got shot up with the Anthrax vaccine.”  She immediately raised her eyebrows and said “REALLY….”.  Then proceeded to tell me that she didn’t trust that vaccine any further than she could throw her desk across the room and that she had researched it only to find out that the ingredient they use as a preservative is also used by cement contractors to dissolve concrete.  Bingo!  And one wonders why so many who have gotten the shot(s) have complained so much about aches, pains, and inability to move around like they used to.  Not to mention a sudden uptick in the numbers of odd new cancers (mainly of the skeletal system) among military communities and the ONLY common denominator found has been all those who were later diagnosed with cancer had also received the vaccine.  And yet the Dept. of Defense and the government still insist the vaccine is harmless.  This vaccine will end up being another “Agent Orange” scenario 20 or 30 years down the road.
     
    As far as the flu vaccine is concerned, I don’t trust it or ANY other injection that the gov’t comes out with.  I don’t trust any pharmaceauticals either for that matter.  I haven’t had a flu shot since I retired in 2006 and still (knock on wood) have not gotten the flu or been so sick that I had to miss any work/school.  In the fall of 2010 I went back to college and starting with that choice I have gotten into a daily vitamin routine just as added protection from young college kids who are likely much more susceptible to illnesses.  I take one multi-vitamin along with two glucosamine/chondroitan tablets and a gingko biloba each morning and then a vitamin A and E each night before bed.  To keep my allergies at bay and to alleviate issues with my sinuses (which I never had problems with prior to Saudi either) I will take an Advil Cold and Sinus tablet once or twice a day as needed for sinus headaches, etc.  I have become a huge proponent of the old natural, homeopathic cures/treatments in the last several years and won’t go to the doctor unless absolutely necessary…..like if I fall and it seems like I broke or fractured something as a result.
     
    The botttom line our bodies are our own sole property to do with as we choose.  If we choose to abuse or endanger them by smoking, drinking, doing drugs, getting tattooed or piercings, or lead an adrenaline-rush type of lifestyle then that is our choice and our perogative.  The gov’t or anyone else does not have the right to dictate to us how we treat or what we do to or what is injected into our bodies.  I view the gov’t or agents thereof being able to mandate that we either get some kind of a shot/vaccine or pay a fine and/or go to jail being akin to them telling us we have to get the number 666 tattooed across our foreheads or anywhere else on our body.  Any kind of tattoo for that matter.  As long as people allow the gov’t to control our every movement and, now, even our own bodies the gov’t will continue to force it’s tyranny upon us little by little until we no longer have control even over our own bodies/health.  It’s time to grow a pair and take a stand against big gov’t and big pharma.  As far as big pharma goes, it seems everything I see them come out with as some miracle cure usually ends up causing more problems down the road.  I think they create some new problem like ADHD or Bi-polar disorder only to be able to create some new drug they can rush to market as an answer.  I’m especially wary of these SSRI’s and other drugs being prescribed like candy in the last 20 years.  Especially when you consider how many of these mass shooters in the last few decades have been later found to have been taking these drugs.  When I was growing up we never heard of ADHD, Bi-polar disorder, or some similar diagnosis and we maybe heard of some atrocity like Aurora or the Connecticutt school shooting once or twice in a decade.  Of course we didn’t have video games and violence in the movies or on t.v. like we do now either.

    • Tx Nurse

      @vanguard7
       the amthrax vacine is one on the list that will be mandatory for nurses in Tx

      • vanguard7

        @Tx Nurse
         You got to be kidding me!  Since when did they deploy it to civilian use outside of gov’t DOD employees?  All I can say is avoid it at any cost if possible.  After research I did on it I’m convinced it is nothing but a con job.  In 1989 (under Clinton) Navy Admiral Crowe retired.  Approximately 6 months later he gained controlling stock in Bioport (the only company in the U.S. that was making the anthrax vaccine) and another 6 months later Bioport won an exclusive contract thru the DOD (under Secretary of Defense, William Cohen) to provide the anthrax vaccine to every U.S. troop, sailor, airman, marine, etc.  A lucrative contract to say the least.  A couple of Air Force members, ranging from Amn to Captain, refused the vaccine and were threatened with UCMJ action and time in Leavenworth for failure to obey a (lawful???) order.  They ended up before Congress giving testimony in their fight and subsequent Congressional investigation into the program.  The gov’t could not prove any of the claims they had made in regards to previous use of the vaccine by veterinarians and the like as well other claims.  To the best of my knowledge it still has not received FDA approval.  A one-year moratorium was eventually placed upon the program but they resumed it as soon as the moratorium was over.  One of the most damming testimonies was by the Chief of Veterinary Services for the state of Delaware when he was asked if he knew of any Veterinarian who had taken the vaccine and he said “No!  Are you crazy?  Who in their right would ever inject themselves with such a vaccine?!”  Up to that point the gov’t claimed veterinarians had been using the vaccine on themselves since the 50′s yet when asked to produce even one veterinarian who had done so, they couldn’t. 
         
        The other aspect of this whole program is that, in my opinion, they are using the military as guinea pigs by testing it on our troops which is also illegal as a result of the Nuremburg trials which concluded that no nation may use it’s military or civilian populace for the purpose of testing any new drugs or unproven therapies (i.e. use their military or civilians as guinea pigs).   Yet the gov’t has not been called out on this small or little known codicile.  Like I said, be warned and avoid this vaccine if at all possible.  It is not to be trusted one iota.

        • Tx Nurse

          @vanguard7
           in the nursing voice (a flier sent to all nurses) it had a list of 26 vacines that will be madatory for all tx nurses in hospitals. on this list were several that are dangerous and others that are in trial.  I have a real hard time trusting their vaccines. recently in new mexico they pushed for all kids to have the pertussis vaccines. their desease count of kids with pertussis went up by 400 %. all of the new cases were kids that got the vaccine. the H1n1 flu vaccine they put out , there were several people in the hospital afterward with GillianBerrie.(sp). they announced that flu epidemic in April. It takes 6 to 8 months to prepare a vaccine. They Had the Vaccine ready to ship the first out in the end of aug. you do the counting. The first ones given the vaccine were the reservations. HMMM… still picking on the indians.The new vaccine they have out for people who are allergic to eggs is said to be made with fall armyworm cells. it is still in trials yet it is out there. The government has said it is ok to experiment on the public without their knowledge. It is how they are getting by with alot of things such as chem trails, HAARP,ect.They are going to loose alot of nurses. I feel bad for the new nurses as they are kind of stuck because of school loans. I tried to inform the nurses at the hospital but was told” Oh they will never do that”.

      • Evermyrtle

        @Tx Nurse  @vanguard7 Do you have to prove that you had the thing? If there were another job available,e I’d have another job.
         
        I have had exactly one flu shot in my 82 years and I expect that when I am 92 I will still have had one flu shot.. To know what is in those things and the desire to take just does not set with me.

        • MikeYoung

          @Evermyrtle  @Tx Nurse  @vanguard7 I agree with you, I don’t believe a vaccine of any kind should be forced onto anybody by a mandate in order to keep their job. The workers body belongs to the worker and no organization has the authority to force compliance of any type into injecting a group of foreign chemicals into the workers body especially in order to keep their job.

  • guest18

    Gosh, I’ve gotten a flu shot every year for at least ten years because I’m considered “high risk” due to asthma and I’ve never gotten sick from the shot nor have I gotten the flu. If I had been smart and gotten a flu shot 15 years ago, I probably wouldn’t have asthma as a permanent condition now. During a bout with a respiratory flu virus, I wound up in the ER gasping for air. A diagnosis of “viral asthma” has led to asthma as a permanent condition.
    For those of you refusing to get a flu shot, fine, but please don’t bore us with all the details of how ill you got If you do come down with this particularly nasty bug because you asked for it. I have noticed that a lot of sick people are still going out in public and coughing and sneezing without covering their mouths. At least have the decency to stay home of you become ill.

    • Dark Patriot

      @guest18 You are one of the ‘lucky’ few.  I feel bad about viral asthma leading to chronic asthma.  Something doesn’t sound right here.  Were you in a VA?

  • RamblingRick

    Flu Shots or No Flu Shosts?
     
    There are many individuals who should not receive flu shots or any other vaccines. If individuals have any immune system diagnosed chronic diseases, they are in danger of major exacerbation of their primary diseases. Lupus, fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis and myriad other immune chronic diseases are at severe personal health risk by introducing another attack on their immune system.
     
    If a Physician, Nurse, or other health professional declines a flu shot, it is because of knowledge of excessive use / abuse of vaccines and contrary indications to the immune system. Face masks, gloves, washing of hands, changing of scrubs or clothing provides the pros excellent prevention from contacting or spreading flu or other communicable disease. This is true of non-medical personnel, as well.
     
    RandomlyRamblingRick

  • Doug C

    Not being a trained “professional”, I cannot tell you why I get deathly ill when I take a flu shot, it took many years of getting my flu shot from my employer and getting sick every time before I said (so fire me for not taking the shot), they were quick to point out that quite a few people felt the same way and it was an allergy, I agreed but know that an allergy does not act like the full blown flu.  Many years later a doctor talked me into a Phenomena shot, this had to be for profit as I asked him if it was anything like a flu shot and he said NO.  Twenty hours and 200 miles down the road I got the sickest that I think I have ever been the symptoms lasted for 5 or 6 weeks and  the cough lasted for over a year, now I tell doctors that if they even try to talk me into one of these shot I’ll find another doctor and that settles it.

    • MichaelRose2

      @Doug C   the ‘allergy’ theory is pure bullsh*t… they tell you that to cover for the fact the vaccine DOES NOT WORK…. and the flu you get from getting shot IS the disease that the vax will NEVER protect you from… but BigPhama has developed its systems to the highest point of commercial perfection (vax being just one product) and that perfection is ONLY in the field of PROFIT$Try a natural remedy (HINT http://www.drmercola.com for allopathic AND/OR alternative info, Joe is qualified in both) and try it BEFORE going anywhere near your MD or yous GP.
      Trust me, I’m an alternative architect :-)

  • autonomous 1

    They know that the vaccines are not formulated on the viruses that would be circulating this season, but on the 2 or 3 viruses that MIGHT be circulating this season out of the very many that exist.  Also, the vaccines have neurotoxins, adjuvants  that are HARMFUL to a weakened immune system. The weakened immune system is prevalent in most people  in winter when there is little exposure to sunlight which causes a Vitamin D(3) deficiency.   Very young children and elderly are more susceptible to these toxins which can cause fever, achiness, etc. which are ALL symptoms of influenza infection.  Ordinarily, in a healthy individual the flu will run its symptoms, similar to a common cold and then subside without harm.  A better course of action would be to promote better health to prevent debilitating flu.  I would guess that these dissenting nurses know all that and abstain (as I do) from having these toxic substances injected into their bodies.

    • MichaelRose2

      @autonomous 1   …and if vaccines were an effective option to a normal immune system (which they never will be) there’s about 178,453 more vaccines still to be developed and tested and sold and forced on us before (y)our bodies would (never) be protected…so lumping 49 different poisons into a single shot is about as clever as muzzle-loading a shotgun with ten pounds of brass shot and hoping the charge will force some of the lead out the front of barrel (good for preserving the rabbit population, but…) …That gives me an idea for a vaccine device to patent and sell to the FDA….

  • MichaelRose2

    One way of cutting hospital running costs; I mean, no competent health professional would tolerate being vaccinated and they’ll retire to private practice rather than succumb to the stupid bureaucrat hospital managers and their hot line the the FDA… fewer Doctors on the staff means lower running costs….closing the hospital is cheaper still….@Joan Mootry

  • oldgreyandugly

    If an educated nurse and others in the medical field are refusing the shot there must be something they know that we don’t.  Why doesn’t someone try to find out just what that is ??

    • MichaelRose2

      @oldgreyandugly  we know some of what that is: mercury/Thimerosol + BigPharma refusing to ever test ANY vaccine for safetyThere’s a heap of other things I could prattle on about but I’m limited to 2000 characters, and many people seem to prefer to take advice from allopathic idiopathic doctors, more fool them..  Trust me, I’m an alternative architect :-)

    • Dark Patriot

      @oldgreyandugly Because we already know that vaccines do NOT work.  The few that do are taken twice in your lifetime if even the second.  Flu vaccines are a weakened combination of flu viruses.  When I was ordered to get one I told my boss that I wanted it in writing with the codicile that if I get the flu after the shot  The district owes me $2Mil and he owes me $500K.  Results:  No shot.  If you are ordered to do something then your boss is legally responsible for the results.  Talk to a lawyer who specializes in these things.

      • Truckman

        @Dark Patriot  @oldgreyandugly Never thought of that. Thanks for the idea-make ‘em out their money where their mouths are.

      • Evermyrtle

        @Dark Patriot  @oldgreyandugly The best idea that I have read yet! I’ll remember that.

    • Dark Patriot

      @oldgreyandugly Ignoring the Polio vaccine, how many other shots does your doctor take them self?  I grew up in a medical household and other than my mother we didn’t get the flu.  She got the shot every year and got sick.  I was ordered to get shots while in the Navy.  We all got sick.  We were given the “Cowpox” argument.