Healthcare workers who don’t vaccinate–nothing but dumbasses

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I caught a cold the flu. And I don’t just write about infectious diseases because it’s some intellectual pursuit, but I hate viruses, bacteria, and parasites. I make the worst possible patient when I have a cold flu, calling and texting every healthcare worker I know for advice.

By the way, I know it’s not the flu a cold, not because I was vaccinated against the flu, but because my symptoms are for a cold. They are completely different diseases, but people conflate the two all the time. The flu knocks you out with much more severe symptoms that last for 2 weeks, sometimes more. The common cold lasts for a few days, and after a couple of days, you usually can get back to doing things.

One of the stupid myths of the vaccine deniers (specifically about the flu vaccine, because I’m shocked at how many people vaccinate for everything but invent stories about the flu vaccine) is that people claim they catch the flu AFTER the vaccine. Now, some tiny percentage of those claims might be true, especially if you contracted the flu prior to getting vaccinated. Also, the vaccine isn’t perfect (nor did I expect it is), so I caught the flu. I feel terrible, but I shall endure. And I still am 100% behind the flu vaccine.

The only way I’d be convinced someone actually had the flu after vaccination is a lab report confirming it. Those tests, which can be done in any doctor’s office, are fast and easy. Continue reading “Healthcare workers who don’t vaccinate–nothing but dumbasses”

Mandatory flu vaccinations cause healthcare workers to quit–a myth

Bones fluOne of the many myths of the vaccine denialism movement is that healthcare workers will quit if there is a mandatory vaccination, usually the flu. Many of the healthcare worker vaccine deniers base their opposition to vaccines based on thoroughly debunked lies about vaccinations. Their invented opposition to vaccines is in direction contradiction to their obligation to protect the health of patients. However, more and more healthcare systems are mandating the flu vaccine for their employees.

A four-year analysis of mandatory influenza (flu) vaccinations, which are a condition of employment at Loyola University Health System in Chicago, IL, showed no statistical increase in voluntary terminations of employees. In the first year of Loyola’s mandatory policy (2009-10 flu season), 99.2% of employees received the vaccine, 0.7% (yes, 0.7%) were exempted for religious/medical reasons, and 0.1% refused vaccination and chose to terminate employment with Loyola. In 2012, the last year of the study, the vaccination uptake rate at Loyola remained steady: 98.7% were vaccinated, 1.2% were exempted and 0.06% refused vaccination.

According to Dr. Jorge Parada, study author and professor of medicine at Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine, reported that “in reality our numbers were even better than that, of the 5 persons who refused vaccination in the mandatory period, 3 were unpaid volunteers, who later reconsidered, received vaccine and returned to Loyola. The two other persons were part-time staff, each with only 10% time commitment at Loyola…truly reflecting a 0.002 vaccine refusal rate” reports Parada. The study showed that, over the course of four years, less than 15 staff, including volunteers, out of approximately 8,000 healthcare workers in the system, chose termination over vaccination. Loyola has sustained a 99 percent compliance average since adopting the mandatory flu vaccination protocol four years ago. Continue reading “Mandatory flu vaccinations cause healthcare workers to quit–a myth”