I spoke at the Healthy Traditions Network annual conference today (9.23.12). A flyer was distributed to those attending the conference that was titled, “Healthcare Workers Protect Your Freedom of Choice.” This flyer explained the flu vaccination conundrum that many health care workers are experiencing. You see, the Powers-That-Be want everyone who works in our hospitals to have a flu shot in order to protect the patients from getting the flu from sick health care workers.
Protecting the patients should be the number one goal of any hospital. However, mandating that every single hospital worker receive the flu vaccine or face termination is not the correct way to improve patient care.
I blogged about the flu vaccine in September and October of 2009 – see the archives section on my blog homepage. In the October, 2009 post, here is what I wrote: “The U.S. government and pretty much all mainstream groups claim that the flu shot prevents the flu in those that get the vaccine. However, the flu shots have not been shown to be effective in healthy babies, children with asthma, adults, and the elderly.
In Children: A review of 51 studies which included more than 294,000 children found “no evidence that injecting children 6-24 months of age with a flu shot was any more effective than placebo. In children over two years of age, it was only effective 33% of the time in preventing the flu. (Chochrane Database of Systemic Reviews 2. 2008).
In asthmatic children, the flu shot did not provide any benefit in preventing asthma exacerbations. The authors of this study compared 400 asthmatic children who were vaccinated with a similar number of asthmatic children who were not vaccinated. They found no difference between emergency visits, clinic visits, or hospitalizations in the vaccinated versus the non-vaccinated group. (Arch. Dis. Child. 2004. Aug;89(8):734-5). If this study wasn’t enough to get your attention a new study found that “Children who get the flu vaccine are three times more at risk for hospitalization than children who do not get the flu vaccine.” (American Thoracic Society 105th International Conference, May 15-20, 2009, San Diego, CA.).