Social Question

zenvelo's avatar

Should nurses be made to have a Flu Shot?

Asked by zenvelo (24552 points ) January 14th, 2013

Nurses have been fired for not getting a flu shot, and others were not fired but required to wear a mask if not vaccinated. One nurse in Oakland refused the shot and is now refusing to wear a mask.

Should public health concerns override employee freedoms?

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25 Answers

WestRiverrat's avatar

To a point yes. (S)he is given an option not to have the shot but wear a mask. That is a reasonable accomodation as far as the EEOC is concerned.

(S)he has the right to not wear a mask or get the shot, but the hospital has a right to not employ her any more.

Self_Consuming_Cannibal's avatar

The way I see it company policy is company policy. Some people can’t get a job scanning groceries because they like to smoke pot. Those two have absolutely nothing in common.

So if a nurse doesn’t want to get a shot and is offered to wear a mask as an alternative and still refuses her boss should sing her this.

If a nurse’s actions are a possible threat to someone’s health then he/she definitely needs to go.

So to answer your question, health concerns should override employee freedoms.

P.S. I think it’s stupid that you have to take a drug test to scan groceries.

Sunny2's avatar

Considering the exposure to flu in a doctor’s office, yes. The nurses I know are eager to get their shots. Yes, public health concerns should override employee freedoms, Why would a nurse deny the efficacy of disease prevention? Sounds like the person chose the wrong profession.

YARNLADY's avatar

Yes, health professionals should be required to follow all health directives.

seekingwolf's avatar

As someone who works in health care, YES, it must be required.

It is beyond disrespectful to have patient contact like that and NOT be vaccinated. It puts people at risk, not just you. That’s what some of these nurses don’t get. It’s not just YOU.

Flu vaccines should be mandated for those of us who work directly with patients. If you don’t want one, even for religious reasons, then the hospital should be able to fire you. Done.

bkcunningham's avatar

This really makes you think. My gut reaction when I read this story a few months ago was anger and fear that someone is being forced to get a flu shot. Now elected officials are getting involved in forcing a flue shot. A flu shot? How scary is that? What’s next a federal vaccine court to cover vaccine injury claims?

gorillapaws's avatar

@bkcunningham you should really consider moving to Somalia. The nurses there aren’t required to have flu shots, and you never have to worry about the Government providing for the common welfare by maintaining safety and health standards for the general public. It sounds like a libertarian paradise (bring your friends).

BhacSsylan's avatar

Of course they should be required. They are in the business of providing public healthcare, not being a health threat should be the lowest level of requirement.

Mariah's avatar

They constantly deal with people in the highest risk groups, whose immune systems are compromised. Yes, yes, a thousand times yes, of course.

deni's avatar

The flu shot injects the person with one strain of flu to which they then become immune (sometimes getting the flu in the process), is that correct?

zenvelo's avatar

@deni There is usually a combination of strains identified by the CDC as statistically likely to be prevalent for the season. You don’t “sometimes” get the flu in the process.

deni's avatar

@zenvelo I’ve known about a zillion people who have got a flu shot then gotten the flu. So, either they get it in the process, or they get it anyhow. Either way, what was the point, aside from the government making money?

Mariah's avatar

@deni The virus contained in the flu injection is dead. It cannot infect you with the flu. The nasal spray vaccine contains a live, but weakened virus. It is not recommended for people with weakened immune systems, but for average people, it will not infect them with the flu.

The vaccine is not 100% effective, so of course people who get it still get the flu sometimes. But it decreases the likelihood of getting the flu.

A lot of people write it off due to anecdotal experiences with getting the flu after getting vaccinated. This is erroneous because it is still possible to get the flu after getting the vaccine. In another recent thread I believe it was stated that this year’s vaccine is about 60% effective (I didn’t fact check this claim). So 40% of people who get the vaccine and are exposed to the flu will still get it. That’s better than 100%.

zenvelo's avatar

Thanks @Mariah. And, there are mild symptoms from your body developing the immune system to protect you. Mild fever (½ degree) and some soreness.

And, the government is not making money off this. The vaccine is made by approved manufacturers and it is usually given at cost.

Rarebear's avatar

If a nurse refuses a flu shot, and refuses to wear a mask then they should be placed on non paid administrative leave throughout the flu season or fired.

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

@Rarebear: Screw that. If a nurse has such little regard for public health that he/she won’t even wear a mask, fire them on the spot. They shouldn’t be in healthcare at all.

WestRiverrat's avatar

@Mariah even if the flu shot doesn’t prevent you from having the flu, it does usually reduce the symptoms.

So instead of feeling like you were hit by a bus, you feel like it was just a little VW Beetle instead.

bkcunningham's avatar

Flu shots are not a guarantee you won’t get the flu and they don’t make you immune to the flu. Where in the world did you ever hear that? And for your information, @gorillapaws, there really is a federal vaccine court to cover vaccine injury claims. Look it up and educate yourself.

gorillapaws's avatar

@bkcunningham I’m well aware of it. Vaccines are seen as part of the public good because they can produce herd immunity. It’s the kind of thing where the general welfare benefits occasionally at the expense of the very few who very rarely experience serious reactions, money has been set aside for this purpose. It’s like eminent domain, and how a few people may be forced to sell some of their land, but we have Railroads, Airports, Schools, Military facilities and major highways that outweigh any individual’s personal loss. You don’t have to worry about these things either in Somalia.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

@gorillapaws But it is also a human right to decide what chemicals you are comfortable injecting yourself with. Just because “money is there” to compensate people for their serious reactions (and how will they be compensated if they fucking die, eh?) does not mean that people should be forced into being injected with toxic chemicals. Being a smartass about this only makes you look like a dumbass.

BhacSsylan's avatar

It’s true, @WillWorkForChocolate, you do get to decide. However, if you choose to work in healthcare, you must take responsibility for protecting the health of the people you serve! Again, not being a health hazard is the very least of the responsibilities for a healthcare provider. “Do no harm” and all that. If they cannot meet that expectation, they should not be in that field.

and, of course, calling the vaccine ‘toxic’ is nothing more than ridiculous fear mongering. but that is besides the point.

jonsblond's avatar

Heck, if I could take a pill that gave me a 60% chance of not getting a head cold I’d buy it and gobble it up. I’d really like to be able to breath out of my nose right now.

I agree with those who say yes.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

@BhacSsylan I’m not saying nurses shouldn’t get one if they expect to keep working around other humans, but it’s still a choice.

And mercury and formaldehyde are considered toxic. That’s simple fact, not fear mongering. Fear mongering is what greedy drug companies participate in when they scare people into injecting themselves with harmful products. But whatever, I’m not going to get into another vaccine debate.

BhacSsylan's avatar

lets not do this, as you say. It’s off topic.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

They say it’s been phased out, but it’s still there, if only in trace amounts as a preservative. Trust me, I have an RN for a mother, and an honest doctor. Even trace amounts of mercury is highly dangerous. And formaldehyde is a known carcinogen. I don’t care if it’s supposed to be a “safe level,” it’s still a known carcinogen and I already have enough carcinogens in my life. Why would I want to inject myself directly with it? You all or nothing “western medicine is always perfectly safe” people really fucking slay me. Since I’m getting sucked into a vaccine debate that I said I wouldn’t get into, and you obviously just want to ridicule me for having a different, educated opinion, I’m out of this one. Have a great night.

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