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Roll Up Your Sleeves: ID Groups Want Vaccines Mandatory for Clinicians — Physician’s First Watch

Medical News |
December 11, 2013

Roll Up Your Sleeves: ID Groups Want Vaccines Mandatory for Clinicians

By the Editors

The Infectious Diseases Society of America, the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America, and the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society are calling for universal immunization of healthcare workers by healthcare institutions as recommended by the CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, the groups said in a joint statement on Tuesday.

Calling vaccination the most effective means to protect patients, the groups say it should be a condition of employment. For those who can't be vaccinated for medical reasons, according to the statement, infection-control measures should be taken (e.g., such workers should be re-assigned away from direct patient care).

Reader Comments (7)

Beverly Hurwitz MD Physician, Pediatrics/Adolescent Medicine

A physician since 1981, I dutifully got vaccinated every year until 2009...a few hours after influenza vaccination that year my face swelled and over the next day, I developed fulminant serum sickness, followed by brachial neuritis of the vaccinated arm, followed by chronic urticaria. This regulation would make me ineligible to practice medicine.

Neville Wilson Physician, Family Medicine/General Practice, Leinster Clinic, Ireland

I am absolutely opposed, for all the reasons quoted by David Wilson.
I will not support this attempted invasion of my attitudes to health and my professional actions.

Stacy Leidel Other Healthcare Professional, Family Medicine/General Practice, Australia

Well done! Influenza vaccination should absolutely be a condition of employment. Health care providers' professional obligation overrides personal ideology. We vaccinate to protect the vulnerable patients we take care of (immunosuppressed people, babies under 6 months etc) who cannot be vaccinated. If protecting vulnerable people isn't part of your professional mission, what are you doing in health care?

Olixn Adams DO Physician, Emergency Medicine

Influenza vaccine is only 50% effective at best about the same or a little worse than natural immunity in a healthy person, Side effect rate is about 2-3% And about 2-3% of the population have a true hx of allergy, egg allergy or hx of GB, with those numbers how can one justify forcing every health care worker to either vaccinate or quite medicine. That is sloppy science not based on objective observation. Vaccinations have a place in our society, but a blanket policy like this is not good medicine, it is based on an ideology not on good science.

Deborah Paley,CNM, MS Other Healthcare Professional, Obstetrics/Gynecology, hosptial

I am a CNM, LM in NYS and I find the information on your website very helpful.
It would be helpful if you included Midwives as a choice of Professional.
Thank You
Deborah Paley, CNM, LM

David Wilson, M.D. Physician

I am absolutely opposed. This is purely political. If vaccination uptake cannot be achieved through doctor-patient relationships, then maybe the case for them is less than compelling. All vaccinations carry risks, including aggravating autoimmune conditions or even causing them de novo (as seen with the recent epidemic of narcolepsy caused by the H1N1 vaccine). Vaccines have achieved an almost magical power in the minds of many supposedly educated folks, including many in the medical field, leading to exaggeration of benefits, overreach, and an inevitable backlash that undermines confidence in public health overall. Better to mandate proven, non-invasive and non-profitable measures like handwashing.

Olixn Adams DO Physician

I agree, well said

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