Despite evidence that manditory flu shots for hospital staff does not prevent flu in patients, the government requires hospital staff be vaccinated in order for the hospital to qualify for federal reimbursements.
Why Are Nurses and Healthcare Workers Across the U.S. Refusing Mandatory Flu Vaccines?
This is evidently not so much a health policy, but a transactional policy: mandates are being forced upon employees so that hospitals will reap financial gain.
While at dinner one evening with a friend who owns five small hospitals, we discussed flu vaccines. He mentioned that he had required all of his employees to be vaccinated and he, likewise, took the flu vaccine. Following the mandate, he noticed he was having the highest employee absentee rate ever since owning the hospitals. He presumed that his employees had gotten sick after getting vaccinated.
Why? The hospital owner described becoming terribly ill right after getting his flu vaccine. In retrospect, he wondered why he needed it since he had never gotten the flu before getting the vaccine. He decided the following year that, despite continuing to require that his employees be vaccinated, he would no longer take the risk himself.
Guess what? He continued to notice high absentee rates but he remained healthy that winter. His name and hospital system will remain anonymous, but his experience was not isolated. I have heard from other high level hospital personnel that they also opt out of the flu vaccine.
It turns out that the same person, Faruque Ahmed, Ph.D. of CDC’s Immunization Services Division, is both the responsible person for getting NQF #0431 (healthcare worker [HCW] yearly flu shots) accepted as a quality measure, and the first author of CDC’s meta-analysis of healthcare worker/healthcare personnel flu shots and whether they benefited patients. Studies over 64 years fail to show that staff vaccinations reduce flu infections and deaths in patients–but good luck figuring that out from the gobbledygook they published.
Does it protect staff? Not if one were to read the true placebo flu vaccine efficacy study recently published in Clinical Infectious Diseases. Those who were vaccinated for the flu had 5.5 times more respiratory illness than those who were not vaccinated. Other studies show that repeated annual flu vaccines decrease their effectiveness.