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post #1 of (permalink) Old 08-24-2012, 12:04 AM Thread Starter
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Default Mandatory Flu Vaccine for Health Workers

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/...rticle4496432/

This new 'policy' has been introduced. As someone affected by said policy, I just wanted to get some public opinion on the matter. I can say that I have not had the flu for at least 7-8 years, and that I have never had the flu vaccine.

Peaks, not geeks.
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 08-24-2012, 12:23 AM
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There are many forces constantly looking for an opportunity to implement mandatory vaccination on any level, and that should be firmly opposed by the unions and other organisations, as well as by the general public. Fortunately in this case there's still an option to wear a protective mask instead.
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post #3 of (permalink) Old 08-24-2012, 01:29 AM
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This will probably end up as a case study in how not to do change management.

Assuming that this is a good idea (I don't know what the science says,) then forcing a rule on the workforce should have been a last-ditch effort. Engaging the workforce more collaboratively would have been a good start.

Assuming that a rule needed to be imposed because the science was clear and all other attempts at creating the change failed:
If the rule was "everyone must get the vaccine" or "everyone must wear a mask" then it would be possible to enforce. However, with this hybrid option, workers can easily choose to not get the vaccine and not wear a mask. Unless they have to walk around in different coloured uniforms, who is really going to keep track of who is vaccinated or not? It doesn't sound like the rule has the support of health workers so they aren't going to tell on eachother. Patients are the only people who might actually raise concerns but there will be no way for them to know who is vaccinated or not.
It's always a bad idea to introduce a rule that will often be broken and rarely enforced.

At the end of the day, we need to provide health workers with the right resources and training and then trust them to take their responsibility seriously and do their job well.

The message from the provincial health officer is disconcerting. It is his opinion that we can't trust health workers to protect patients from the flu. If that is the case, does he have any confidence in their ability to prevent the transmission of much more serious infections in health care settings?
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post #4 of (permalink) Old 08-24-2012, 09:25 PM
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I remember a time when this was hardly an issue, C. Diff was an occasional occurrence and MRSA a rarity.. but then again the cleaning was done PROPERLY by in-house staff, instead of by a profit-driven, minimal-wage, high-turnover campaign contributor to the Liberal party...but I digress.

Rant done.








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post #5 of (permalink) Old 08-25-2012, 01:42 AM
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I'm all for it. Plenty of occupations where it's mandatory to have an up-to-date tetanus shot etc etc so why not a vaccine to prevent the most common types of flu? Maybe some health care workers might feel confident about not getting the flu themselves, but when you're putting yourself side-by-side with vulnerable populations (elderly, immunocompromised) I think the responsible thing to do is get vaccinated to protect THEM. The flu is no small disease for the elderly.
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post #6 of (permalink) Old 08-25-2012, 01:56 AM Thread Starter
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quote:Originally posted by wilderness_seeker

... so why not a vaccine to prevent the most common types of flu?
That's the issue, whether you believe the vaccine does anything. My understanding is that the strain in the vaccine is never relevant to the 'strain of the day making rounds.
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post #7 of (permalink) Old 08-25-2012, 02:14 AM
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What seems to be missing in the discussion here is the issue of the adverse effects of vaccines, especially the new and inadequately tested ones.
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post #8 of (permalink) Old 08-25-2012, 02:23 AM
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by Kid Charlemagne

Quote:
quote:Originally posted by wilderness_seeker

... so why not a vaccine to prevent the most common types of flu?
That's the issue, whether you believe the vaccine does anything. My understanding is that the strain in the vaccine is never relevant to the 'strain of the day making rounds.
Ya, my understanding is that they somehow predict the most virulent strain that's going to make the rounds that season and make a vaccine against it. I'm not sure how they accomplish this as the virus would mutate so quickly. Long time since I took microbiology so I've forgotten most of it. I don't see how getting a vaccine does any harm as it's just an inactive version of the virus that primes your immune response to it while not being capable of actually making you sick.

I haven't had a vaccine every single year but now I do, since I often work with elderly and while perhaps a flu might not kill me, I could potentially carry the virus and pass it on to someone much more vulnerable, during the prodromal period before symptoms appear (ie, before I'm sick enough to decide, "Hey, I'd better stay home from work in case I pass it on to someone.")

I realize it won't prevent ALL influenza viruses though. Actually the only thing I truly remember my microbiology prof saying to us was, "Get enough sleep and eat your vegetables" to boost your immune system in general. Usually this serves me well as I am one of those people who never gets sick, but perhaps I am also just lucky.
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post #9 of (permalink) Old 08-25-2012, 03:03 AM
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post #10 of (permalink) Old 08-25-2012, 08:48 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by wilderness_seeker



Ya, my understanding is that they somehow predict the most virulent strain that's going to make the rounds that season and make a vaccine against it.
They try to predict, but are seldom, if ever correct, or so I've read. Without being a microbiologist myself, it's hard to know for certain which information is correct.
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post #11 of (permalink) Old 08-25-2012, 09:52 AM
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by wilderness_seeker

...it's just an inactive version of the virus that primes your immune response to it while not being capable of actually making you sick.
But the point is that you can still CARRY the virus with you...and although it doesn't make YOU as sick as it should (without the vaccine), you could still pass it on to whoever you are in contact with!

Conspiracy theories anyone?
Who says there is anything in that hypodermic, other than distilled water? A ploy by big Pharma to make money?
Crazy...maybe. But as pointed out, they are usually incapable of predicting the proper strain, so the whole thing is just an exercise in futility AFAIC.
Basic hygiene would cover a lot of ground, instead of giving the impression of invulnerability (and subsequent complacency) that a needle brings.
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post #12 of (permalink) Old 08-25-2012, 04:54 PM
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Quote:
quote: so why not a vaccine to prevent the most common types of flu
Because it's based on nothing more than a guesstimate of which strain will be the worst. I know quite a few people in health care that refuse to take it.
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post #13 of (permalink) Old 08-25-2012, 05:09 PM
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by TheShadow

But the point is that you can still CARRY the virus with you...and although it doesn't make YOU as sick as it should (without the vaccine), you could still pass it on to whoever you are in contact with!
It's been a heck of a long time since my microbiology classes... but isn't a vaccine the protein coat of the virus, not the DNA (/RNA) of the virus inside?

-Ryan
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post #14 of (permalink) Old 08-25-2012, 07:31 PM
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by mntntime

Because it's based on nothing more than a guesstimate of which strain will be the worst. I know quite a few people in health care that refuse to take it.
I know a few people in health care that smoke.

But honestly, the CDC in the US puts out reams of studies and data that measures the effectiveness of flu shots, so why a thread to start idle guessing?

It seems pretty reasonable to me that they're cutting off one vector of transmission - health care workers - by having them get immunized or wear masks, for a disease that kills far more than the vaccine for it does.

Regardless of paranoia about thimerasol or whether one can distinguish between not having the flu or being asymptomatic with it.
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post #15 of (permalink) Old 08-25-2012, 08:34 PM
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by Ryan.in.yaletown

Quote:
quote:Originally posted by TheShadow

But the point is that you can still CARRY the virus with you...and although it doesn't make YOU as sick as it should (without the vaccine), you could still pass it on to whoever you are in contact with!
It's been a heck of a long time since my microbiology classes... but isn't a vaccine the protein coat of the virus, not the DNA (/RNA) of the virus inside?

-Ryan
That's not what I meant.
Even IF I get a flu shot, I can still get the flu (except that supposedly I won't suffer as much), and as long as I have the flu, I can infect others.
And IF they didn't predict the proper strain, I can still get sick and STILL pass the flu virus on to others.

Getting a shot will (theoretically) prevent me from getting (severely) ill. It won't prevent me from being a carrier of the virus. All it does is prepare MY body and its immune system, to react against a predicted foe.






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