Kicking off the news this week is another look at the widespread rampant seasonal flu that is hitting the nation. Alongside the articles on patients, illness and death are several on health care workers complaining about being forced to get flu shots in order to keep their jobs. According to the CDC, 400 hospitals in the U.S. require workers to get flu shots and 29 of them have fired employees who refuse.

Flu Vaccine Avoiders Cry Foul!

paramedic girl blondeMany are crying “foul” citing that it’s a personal choice and they shouldn’t be forced to get vaccinated. I say, hogwash! You have an obligation to your patients to not consciously carry disease to them. Whether it’s from a failure to wash your hands between patients or because you refuse to get vaccinated for the seasonal flu, your patients have the right to expect their health care providers to be “clean.”

If you choose to work in the health care arena and come in contact with patients, you choose to take the precautions required for infection control. If you object to taking those precautions then you should not be offended when your job is offered to someone who has no objection. According to this article one medical ethicist says that patients should ask their health workers whether they have been vaccinated and demand they wear a mask and take additional precautions if the answer is no.

Patients Come First, Get Vaccinated

Labor representatives say these actions will unfairly ostracize health care workers who refuse the vaccine and make them seem “unclean” to their patients. Well, duh! That’s the point. They are potentially unclean! I’m curious what your thoughts are about this. Leave a comment on this article or shoot me an email at


Make sure you check out the links to this news item and all of the additional resource links available for you over at the MedicCast site and in the show notes for this episode — EMS Hepatitis Review and Episode 319.


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