Friday, October 9, 2009

Are you getting a flu shot?

Do you plan to get the flu shot? How about the H1N1 vaccine?

Considering the hype around getting the vaccine distributed and readying your practice for the flu onslaught, it surprised me that most health care workers likely won’t be getting vaccinated themselves.

So should it mandatory?
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Historically only 40 percent of healthcare workers get vaccinated from the seasonal flu. Why? Perhaps it’s many of the same reasons the general public hesitates. Maybe they are skeptical the vaccine will work, or they are convinced they won’t get sick.

Now, many hospitals and healthcare organizations are mandating the flu vaccine. New York State is requiring it, and large hospital chains like the Hospital Corp. of America, MedStar Health, and the UC Davis Health System are mandating it, according to NPR. Here's a pretty strongly-worded opinion in favor of mandatory vaccinations for healthcare workers.

Opponents of the requirement say it’s infringing on their rights.

But what is the hesitation? Wouldn’t it make sense to keep yourself flu-free and avoid spreading it to patients? Should it be required?

And are you planning on getting the flu shot? Why or why not?

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