Should healthcare workers be made to get the H1N1 vaccine?

According to a new study conducted by the University of Michigan, while nearly 90 percent of the public believes healthcare workers should be required to get the H1N1 vaccine, only 38 percent of health care workers actually intend to do so… Here’s a clip:

…As H1N1 influenza vaccine begins to be shipped across the country, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention emphasize getting the first doses to high-priority groups. One such
group is health care workers. A report released today by the C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital National Poll on Children’s Health shows 87 percent of the public believes health care workers should be required to be vaccinated against H1N1 flu in case of an outbreak, while only 38 percent of health care workers intend to get the H1N1 flu vaccine…

…Because health care workers do not have a strong track record of vaccination against seasonal flu, hospital directors and in some cases public health officials (for example, New York State) have decided to mandate H1N1 flu vaccination for health care workers. There has been vocal opposition to this idea from some health care worker groups…

So, what do you think? Given the possible severity of the outbreak, and our reliance on healthcare professionals, should we consider mandating vaccinations?

This entry was posted in Civil Liberties, Health and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.


  1. Posted October 19, 2009 at 10:24 pm | Permalink

    So, has the H1N1 been claiming victims locally yet?

  2. Lacey Rufcorn
    Posted January 28, 2011 at 9:14 am | Permalink

    At the University of Michigan hospital, they’re making people wear masks who didn’t want to get the flu shot.

  3. Eel
    Posted January 18, 2013 at 10:57 am | Permalink

    Fortunately, the conservatives will all be dead soon.

    Because of things like this:

    Houston councilman votes to reject federal money for childhood vaccines. “I’m going to vote against this,” said Christie. “You don’t die from the flu.”–187209581.html

  4. anon
    Posted January 19, 2013 at 7:49 am | Permalink

    So to head back on topic instead of following EOS’s conspiracy theories and really stupid shit, (Yes, Stacy, EOS is painfully out int he weeds intellectually – and possibly physically). …

    I work at a facility that has about 2500 professionals (Engineers, IT experts etc). The health center there sent an email to everyone on the campus offering free flu vaccines and followed up with everyone who said yes. The number of people vaccinated was close to about 2000.

    Turns out contractors got missed and they made up the majority of the 500 folks that chose not to get vaccinated. From what we can tell – the flu shot really worked and the flu (A type H3N2, with some H1N1 mixed in) that has hit our facility ate up sick time for most of the non-vaccinated folks. Nasty stuff this one. They went down for a full week.

    Should it mandatory? I don’t think so (I’m a big one for people to have choices about what happens with their bodies). That being said, if you aren’t vaccinated and you are a healthcare worker -a) I want to know and b) I don’t want to be near you . so maybe ye ol’ scarlett H3N2 risk badge on the uniform is appropriate?

  5. EOS
    Posted January 19, 2013 at 11:47 am | Permalink

    If you get a flu vaccination and it is effective against the strain of flu that you encounter, then it doesn’t matter if you come in contact with another individual who is harboring the virus – you are protected. If the vaccine is not effective, then it doesn’t matter that someone else did or didn’t receive the vaccine because everyone, regardless of their vaccination status, would also be vunerable. An individual who chooses not to be vaccinated willingly accepts the risk of getting the flu. But mandating health care workers to get the flu vaccination would impose any associated risks of the vaccine on the worker in order that the patient can avoid getting vaccinated because of those same risks. CDC has recently reported this year’s flu vaccine to be 60% effective. (4 out of 10 will get the flu eveen though they received the vaccination)

    In referring to me as a conspiracy theorist because I cited peer-reviewed medical journal articles, anon has made his intellectual shortfalls apparent to all.

  6. Oliva
    Posted January 19, 2013 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

    From CDC: flu shot is 62% effective for seasonal flu strains covered by the shot; very young and old and those with chronic diseases tend not to get much help from the flu shot, which is what could make that percentage so low. But still, low is better than zero, esp. for anyone who dodges the flu.

    What are the symptoms of H3N2v [new variant going around the country]?
    Symptoms of H3N2v infection are similar to those of seasonal flu viruses and can include fever and respiratory symptoms, such as cough and runny nose, and possibly other symptoms, such as body aches, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea.

    Is there a vaccine for H3N2v?
    Early steps to make a vaccine against H3N2v have been taken, but no decision to mass produce such a vaccine has been made. [CDC head said on radio they’re hard at work trying to get it in next year’s or the year after’s flu shot.]

    Will this season’s flu vaccine protect me against H3N2v?
    The 2012-2013 seasonal flu vaccine will not protect against H3N2v.

  7. EOS
    Posted January 19, 2013 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

    The flu virus mutates rapidly. If 100% of the world population were vaccinated against the current strain of the flu it would not eradicate the flu. It would merely provide the selective pressure for a resistant strain to arise and potentially infect 100% of the population.

  8. Posted January 19, 2013 at 4:52 pm | Permalink

    You are correct that the influenza virae mutate rapidly. This is (one of the reasons) why vaccines have to developed yearly.

    You do bring up an interesting set of questions. I know a lot about malaria, but not so much about influenza, but what knowledge I do have tells me this:

    You are incorrect that vaccinating large numbers of people will exacerbate mutation. The virus may adapt to evade that years particular vaccine, true, but opportunities for mutation into a particularly virulent strain become more probably with increasing numbers of transmission events.

    Vaccination creates “dead ends,” decreasing the number of opportunities for mutation and reduces the chance of a severely virulent strain from appearing.

    I have sent this question to one of my colleagues, who, it turns out, is an expert in matters of influenza transmission and influenza vaccines.

    There is much we do not know about influenza. We do, know, however, that unvaccinated health workers who work with immuno-compromised and weak patients put their patients at great risk for disease and death. We also know that many cases of influenza are without symptoms, but even with out symptoms, transmission occurs. Thus, persons are unable to recognize whether they are infected or not, and staying home will do little to prevent transmission.

    Therefore, it is entirely irresponsible to allow health workers who work with members of the above groups to have contact with patients without being vaccinated. If they don’t like it, it is my opinion that they should find another job.

  9. Posted January 19, 2013 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

    You are correct that influenza would not be eradicated and there are many, many different species and types of influenza, some of which are known to also infect, and sometimes arise from, non-humans.

  10. Posted January 19, 2013 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

    *as not and.

  11. Posted January 19, 2013 at 5:25 pm | Permalink

    “The flu virus mutates rapidly. If 100% of the world population were vaccinated against the current strain of the flu it would merely provide the selective pressure for a resistant strain to arise and potentially infect 100% of the population.”

    This possibility of this is so small as to be effectively non-existent for a number of reasons.

    I’m sorry I gave this oxygen.

    Did you just make this up, or is this what people say over the water cooler?

  12. EOS
    Posted January 19, 2013 at 7:09 pm | Permalink

    When penicillin was discovered, medical science thought that they had erradicated bacterial disease. Now, most pathogenic bacteria are resistant to penicillin. Widespread use of antibiotics when they are not necessary has led to many drug resistant strains of bacteria. Bacteria are evolving defenses for 2nd, 3rd, and 4th generation antibiotics. Today, there are strains of TB, staph, and STD’s that are resistant to all antibiotic therapies. The only treatment for some flesh-eating bacteria today is amputation. The bacteria are evolving faster than medical science can come up with novel therapies and many in the medical field are predicting a time in the near future where death as a result of bacterial infection may again become commonplace.

    Viruses evolve faster than bacteria and as you stated, can cross species as well. That a resistant strain would evolve is inevitable. The only questions are how quickly this would happen, how virulent the strains would be be, and how rapidly they would spread.

  13. EOS
    Posted January 19, 2013 at 9:20 pm | Permalink

    Also, in case anyone is misled, I did not write nor do I believe that vaccinations would exacerbate mutations. The rate of mutation is independent of the effectiveness of any immune repsonse. Selective pressure applies to the entire population of influenza virus left after vaccinations reduce susceptible strains. Resistant strains survive and reproduce thereby altering the proportion of the surviving population of virus that would be able to spread disease in spite of host vaccination status.

  14. EOS
    Posted January 24, 2013 at 8:41 am | Permalink

  15. Meta
    Posted August 27, 2013 at 7:56 am | Permalink

    “Anti-vaccine megachurch hit with measles epidemic, now offering free vaccinations”

    Read more:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Sidetrack ad Aubree’s ad BUY LOCAL... or shop at Amazon through this link Banner Initiative Bat Attack