On June 5, 2018, the US Third Circuit Court of Appeals overturned a District Court’s decision to dismiss a case filed by a nurse who alleged she was terminated for refusing a Tdap vaccine for medical reasons. The focus of the decision was not the vaccine refusal per se; the focus was what are the pleading standards in a claim alleging a failure to provide a reasonable accommodation of a disability. While the specific claim of the nurse’s vaccine refusal is unconvincing in many ways, I think the Third Circuit (“the court”) was right to allow her case to proceed at least a bit further.
There’s an irresponsible antivaccination group called Nurses Against Mandatory Vaccines whose sole purpose is to oppose vaccinating nurses and other healthcare workers against vaccine preventable diseases. They claim that they are opposed to mandatory vaccination, yet if you look into their propaganda, they use all of the refuted tropes and lies found throughout the antivaccination movement. These so-called nurses, whose profession is generally dedicated to protecting, maintaining and assisting people to live healthy lives, are so blinded by their antivaccine myths that they would rather risk harming patients and their co-workers rather than get a safe and effective vaccination. These nurses have arrogant and ignorant beliefs, no different than global warming deniers and creationists, that put at risk patients who are too young to be vaccinated. Immunocompromised patients who cannot be vaccinated. Certain cancer patients who are at risk to almost every disease. Instead of protecting life, they willingly choose to cause harm
I do not know why these “nurses” have such callous disregard for human life. It disgusts me. It nauseates me. These “nurses” are not nurses–they are vile, ignorant fools.
But there is a group that stands with patients and the honorable profession of nursing. A group that represents all that is wonderful and helpful about dedicated nurses. A group that thinks that patient care supersedes believing in ridiculous myths. Nurses Who Vaccinate. Check them out. Help them out. And give them your support in whatever way you can.
Little intro might be handy for this. This post has been on my mind for a long time now and finally I decided to pull my finger out and actually write it. What is to follow will be a mixture of factual, scientific and anecdotal writings. Because that is the way I roll. I have been itching to write something, anything about vaccinations for a little bit now, but so far decided not to because there are so many out there who do it and do a better job of it then I would dream of, so I’ll list some. Skeptical Raptor, Respectful Insolence, Red Wine & Apple Sauce, Just The Vax and many many more.
Prior to starting my nursing course I was very much into my slightly alternative medicine. I was on the fence regarding vaccines, not just the flu vaccine but all vaccines. Now that I think back on it I’m not really sure why. It was never really something that I thought about properly until I started my university course. What was probably a turning point for me was the amount of patients over 70 I came across who had to use callipers and wheelchairs because they contracted polio when they were kids. I have never come across a patient under 70 who has had polio. Never. This sort of got me thinking about the importance of vaccination, and if there is one thing that I have learned since starting uni is that evidence is the key. Continue reading “Student Nurse Perspective: The Flu Vaccine.”