Saturday, December 17, 2011

Physicians Oppose Mandatory Flu Vaccine for Health Workers

Dees Illustration

In a letter to Colorado public health officials, the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS) opposes a rule requiring workers in health care facilities to have an annual influenza vaccination or lose their jobs. Workers who had a rare religious or medical exemption would be required to wear a mask in patient care areas from November through March.

The religious exemption is too narrowly drawn, AAPS writes, and should be a philosophical exemption, as accepted in many states, to “to avoid inquisitions into matters of faith.” The mask requirement “seems to be nothing more than a punitive retaliation against those who decline the vaccine” and should be dropped, the AAPS letter states, as both immunized and nonimmunized individuals can transmit influenza or other illnesses.

The New Mexico study cited in support of the policy shows a tiny effect: an adjusted odds ratio of only 0.97 for confirmed influenza “outbreaks” (at least one case) in residents of long-term care facilities where 60% of direct-care workers were immunized compared with facilities with a 51% immunization rate. This means that in facilities where more workers were immunized, residents were still 97% as likely to get influenza. “Many other factors could account for the small difference,” states AAPS executive director Jane Orient, M.D.

In the age of “evidence-based medicine,” AAPS notes that there is surprisingly little evidence supporting the efficacy of influenza vaccine, and evidence of safety is also scant. According to a 2006 article in the British Medical Journal by Tom Jefferson, the coordinator of the vaccines section of the Cochrane Collaboration, safety data are reported in only five randomized studies with 2,963 observations. Many repeated doses of similar vaccines likely increase the risk of allergic reactions, and no data exist on the safety of a large number of doses, states Dr. Orient, citing a 2006 article in the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons.

Immunizations and pertinent information should be made conveniently available to all workers in medical facilities, states AAPS. But the judgment of medical professionals should be respected; more than half choose to decline the annual shot.

The letter to Colorado officials is available.

AAPS, a national organization of physicians in all specialties, was founded in 1943 to preserve and promote the practice of private medicine and the sanctity of the patient-physician relationship.


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The Other Shoe said...

Because those in the healthcare industry have, like automatons, consistently supported mandatory vaccinations of infants, neonates and others who could not speak or fight back against the horrors that this system has caused to them (autism, crib death, various other murders, autoimmune disease, childhood cancers, diabetes, all types of neurological disorders, etc.), all with a system which forced this insanity on children without adequate testing, we only hope now that those who benefited from the system and supported the gross criminality of this system are forced to take part in the system they went out of their way to support and implement.
In particular, pediatricians, many of whom received numerous bonuses from the various public health agencies over the years to make certain that the children were subjected to this insanity through their private practices, should be the first on line to be forced to accept the flu vaccine, preferably with a full complement of thimerosal. We can only hope that the whining which will emanate from these technician monkeys will provide enough damage to them to change the system.
Perhaps they will once again rely on ethical treatment, invoke their hippocratic oath and allow people to once against choose their medical treatment.
Like the chickenhawks who do not serve in the military, but support all of the wars which use our children as cannon fodder, these people should be given the equivalent of a rifle and bayonet and march up the hill for the greater good.
What goes around, should come around.
Indeed, the only ones who should be forced to take the flu shot are those who support the mandates.
That'll learn them.

Anonymous said...

I am a physician with a true medical contra-indication to taking the flu shot who just had to retire over this flu shot issue. I find wearing the mask to be purely punitive and it would be runious to one's practice. Fortunately I am near the end of my work life. How about the poor soul who invests hundred's of thousands of dollars to become an MD and then gets a serious adverse reaction to the flu shot early in his/her carreer. They are screwed by this mandate. All med under-grads who apply for the MCAT should have to sign a waiver stating they understand the risk they are about to take.

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