There has been a lot of controversy lately about flu shots, who should get them and if they should be mandatory for health care workers. I fall into the last category; I work at a hospital. While I don't often interact directly with patients, when I do, they are usually immuno-compromised individuals.
My hospital just started it's employee & volunteer flu shot campaign. They do one every year. Where I work (as is the case for most hospitals) a flu shot is not mandatory. It is elective for employees whether they get one or not. However, if you elect not to get the flu shot, you have to sign a waiver (less common among hospitals, from what I understand). Basically, all employees are required to either get a flu shot of sign a waiver. Those who sign the waiver do so with an understanding that if a breakout occurs, they may be asked to give up working hours or wear a mask to protect patients.
I think this is a good policy. It addresses the agency of each employee but also accounts for the health of patients in the event of a severe situation. Most hospitals have employee vaccination rates around 50%. My hospital system is around 80%. I know the critics out there will still be saying that employees without the vaccine are still caring for patients, which is true. But we also have a much higher rate of immunization.
Despite my fear of needles, I got my flu shot today. I will be getting them for my girls when they are available at their pediatrician's office. The CDC is saying there won't be a shortage of vaccine like there was last year. I haven't been a big believer in flu shots, but I think the benefit outweighs the risk.
1 week ago