Poland ACIP: The Advisory Committee on Immunizations Practices
[NVIC June 2006] Forced Flu Vaccination for Health Workers?
E-NEWS FROM THE NATIONAL VACCINE INFORMATION CENTER
Vienna, Virginia http://www.nvic.org
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UNITED WAY/COMBINED FEDERAL CAMPAIGN
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"Protecting the health and informed consent rights of children since 1982."
BL Fisher Note:
Mayo Clinic's Greg Poland, who is a member of the CDC's Advisory
Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), is calling for laws requiring
all health care workers to be forced to get flu vaccinations. His suggestion
is the latest in a series of calls for forced vaccination of citizens.
It is well known that two-thirds of all health care workers do not get
annual flu vaccinations just like two-thirds of Americans don't get flu
vaccinations. A bout with the flu now and then is no big deal for most
people. Despite the billion dollar ad campaign being waged by the
pharmaceutical industry and government to strike fear into the hearts of all
Americans about getting the flu, most of us know the flu vaccine is both
useless and risky.
When the CDC tried to persuade health care workers who would be "first
responders" in a bioterrorism attack to get smallpox vaccinations
post-September 11, 2001, the health care workers of America "just said no"
and the Administration's mass vaccination scheme fizzled. When public health
types in Washington state tried to force hospital nurses to get flu
vaccinations or be fired, the nurses union took them to court and won the
right to refuse to get flu vaccinations without informed consent. Later,
hospital officials tried to force unvaccinated nurses to wear masks and the
nurses took them to court again and won again.
Over the long run, forced medical interventions that carry risks do not
work, except in repressive political systems that allow elitist groups
within society to force others to risk their lives for what the elitists
have decided is the "greater good." There are many examples in history when
government health officials and those they persuade to do their bidding have
wielded power and taken away civil and human rights. During the past
century, the Third Reich in Germany during World War II and Communist China
both suspended the human right to informed consent to medical interventions
forced on the people by "health" officials. It started with bans on smoking
and forced TB treatment and proceeded to forced abortions and euthanasia..
The right to informed consent to medical interventions, including
vaccination, is a human right. Protecting individual inviolability becomes
even more important when government health officials refuse to acnowledge
biodiversity and inhumane one-size-fits-all vaccine policies end up
targeting the genetically vulnerable for sacrifice.
St. Petersburg Times
Published June 13, 2006
Expert calls for health workers to get flu shots
The Mayo Clinic Vaccine Research Group's director says those in the health
industry should be required to get vaccinations.
By LISA GREENE, Times Staff Writer
TAMPA - Influenza kills about 36,000 Americans each year. Some people catch
it in hospitals and from doctors, nurses and other staffers.
This is a lie. Number of flu deaths 753 (2002)
But nearly two-thirds of health care workers don't get flu shots.
Requiring shots will save lives, and it's the best way to lower hospital
influenza infection rates, one of the nation's top flu experts said Monday.
"It is a chance for us to demonstrate that we can and will do the right
thing for our patients,'' said Dr. Greg Poland, speaking to the national
conference of infection control workers.
Poland directs the Mayo Clinic Vaccine Research Group and belongs to the
advisory committee on vaccines for the federal Centers for Disease Control
Several studies have shown that health care workers spread the flu to
patients and that hospitals can dramatically lower their death rates by
Despite their medical knowledge, health workers don't get flu shots for the
same reasons that others don't.
They don't know that they're risking patients' health. They don't know that
they're at risk. They're afraid of needles. They think, mistakenly, that
they can get the flu from a flu shot, which contains only dead virus.
"One of the things I hear is, 'I never get the flu,' " Poland said. "Yes,
Blood test studies suggest that half of health care workers who get the flu
don't know that they have it and don't show symptoms. Even without symptoms,
they can spread it to patients.
Health workers also have the same bad health habits as other Americans, with
about 70 percent going to work when they're sick.
The difference: When health care workers work sick, people can die.
Because they're already sick, hospital patients are especially vulnerable to
the worst complications of the flu, which is the sixth leading cause of
death in the United States.
In 1998, a flu outbreak in a hospital neonatal unit sickened 54 babies and
killed one. Only 15 percent of the workers had gotten flu vaccines.
Imagine, Poland said, that "your baby dies of an infection preventable with
a $15 vaccine.''
In another hospital, 25 patients in a bone marrow transplant unit got the
flu, and two died. Only 12 percent of unit workers had gotten flu shots.
That case, Poland said, shows why only talking about the risks isn't enough.
The next year, 42 percent of the workers still didn't get shots.
"I want to believe and you want to believe that education works,'' he said.
"It does not, when it comes to this topic.''
Poland has been a strong advocate for mandatory flu shots. The idea appeared
to be gathering steam. Seven states require shots for health workers. The
Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology, the
group that Poland spoke to Monday, has endorsed it, as have other infectious
Increasing fears about a worldwide flu epidemic also add momentum. U.S.
pandemic plans call for health care workers to be vaccinated first so they
can care for the sick.
"We won't know how to do it'' if workers aren't getting shots now, Poland
Although Poland and other advocates call the shots mandatory, workers would
be able to decline getting a shot after signing a document stating why they
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