In an Indiana hospital, eight employees were fired for refusing the flu vaccine. This begs the question: should employees in a hospital who have direct patient contact be forced to get a flu vaccine?
I say yes. For sure, yes.
Tens of thousands of people in the United States die each year from the flu. Here's a shot that can greatly reduce your risk of being one of those people. Why wouldn't you take it?
But fine, I'm not going to say everybody in the country should be forced to get a flu shot. Most people who get the flu probably aren't going to die from it, after all. But if you're going to be around a vulnerable population of sick patients in a hospital or nursing facility who can't fight the bug as well as you might be able to, you have a moral obligation to get a flu shot.
And I don't see any reason why a hospital can't require all employees to get flu vaccines. It doesn't seem all that extreme. I am required to have a PPD placed in order to stay at my job. That ain't saline they're injecting into my forearm.
I once had an argument with a nurse about flu vaccines. She (much like the nurse in the story) was saying that she never gets the vaccine because a long time ago, she got the vaccine and subsequently got the flu from it. I said, "How would you feel if you got the flu and then several patients caught it from you and died as a result?"
Her: "How would you feel if you got the flu from a vaccine and several patients caught it from you and died?"
Me: "I wouldn't feel bad at all because you can't get the flu from a killed vaccine."
Honestly, I am always really surprised to hear a nurse say something like that. I have a lot of respect for nurses, and I would think they would be smarter than that about a medical issue.