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Health Workers Protest Mandatory H1N1 Vaccination Rules

by @ 7:51 am on October 5, 2009. Filed under Health, Individual Liberty, Swine Flu

Across the country, health care workers in the public and private sector as speaking out against requirements that the get the H1N1 flu vaccination:

(CBS) The first doses of the H1N1 vaccine are expected to be released this week. While that is bringing relief to some Americans, it’s also helping to ignite a controversy for one group, as CBS News correspondent Randall Pinkston reports.

Outside New York ‘s capitol building, health care workers – shouting “Give me liberty!” – vowed to fight an unprecedented order from state health officials: a requirement for every health care worker to get seasonal and H1N1 flu shots or face the possibility of being fired.

Physical therapist Carole Blueweiss is weighting that risk.

“I’m healthy and I have a strong immune system and I don’t want to feel like someone is telling me what to put into my body to protect me,” Blueweiss said.

But the state maintains the objective is to reduce the possibility of infecting patients.

“Every flu season, in New York for example, we have about 160 outbreaks of flu inside healthcare institutions,” said New York State Commissioner of Health Dr. Richard Daines.

In past years, when vaccination was voluntary, only 40 percent of the state’s 925,000 health care workers get vaccinated.

“That’s kind of intolerable that patients should come to a hospital and not know that the healthcare workers are vaccinated,” Daines said.

Here’s the full report:

Watch CBS News Videos Online

While I generally don’t think that the state should force people to take vaccines unless there is an immediate threat of a deadly communicable disease, I think this case is one where exceptions should apply.

Employers, public and private, should have the right to set reasonable rules of employment and, in the health care industry, it doesn’t seem to me to be at all unreasonable to require people who come in contact with patients to be both protected from getting sick and incapable of spreading a disease that, while a minor inconvenience to them, could be fatal to someone with a compromised immune system.

8 Responses to “Health Workers Protest Mandatory H1N1 Vaccination Rules”

  1. Let's Be Free says:

    Unforeseen effects of flu vaccinations are real….please see…

    Study prompts provinces to rethink flu plan
    Sep 30, 2009 … A perplexing Canadian study linking H1N1 to seasonal flu shots is throwing national influenza plans … Science page: Swine flu package …

  2. I don’t disagree that there are risks. My wife and I got the seasonal vaccine on Saturday, but we’re probably going to skip the H1N1 vaccine unless things turn out to show that it’s far more prevalent, and far more severe than it seems to be,

  3. Matt says:

    I don’t have a problem with a hospital requiring its employees to be vaccinated or face loss of a job. That’s a private organization and they can do what they like, it’s not much different than subjecting employees to drug screening, if they want to work there, that’s just one of the requirements, and they are free to not get the vaccine and find work elsewhere.

    I do have a problem with a government mandate for the vaccine though.

  4. [...] Below the Beltway: Health Workers Protest Mandatory H1N1 Vaccination Rules [...]

  5. What if it’s a government-run hospital ?

  6. toby says:

    There is some interesting data suggesting that keeping your vitamin D level optimal will prevent colds, flu and in particular H1N1 (swine Flu).
    Here are links to two interesting articles:

    August 2009-Vitamin D3 deficiency and its role in influenza
    Sept 2009-More on Vitamin D3 and influenza

    If these links don’t work go to and click on ‘In the news” to find these updates

  7. lindaamick says:

    After studying vaccines very intensively I believe that an oil-based adjuvant poses serious risks to the human immune system. I tried to find out if the h1n1 vaccines will contain adjuvants and the information is not available. In the Novartis insert it states that oil-based adjuvants will and won’t be in vaccines.
    Given no clear information it will be risky to get this vaccination.

  8. anxietyboy says:

    H1N1 or Swine Flu is a bit scary but it a good thing to note that this virus is not that very deadly.

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