As a nurse I am required by my employer to get the flu shot each year. In fact, the hospital I work for has become increasingly strict in their policies. There are now strict deadlines each year by which we must prove that we've been vaccinated or risk losing our jobs. Why are they so strict? Probably because even some health care workers have negative opinions about the flu shot.
A study by St. Louis University is showing that 25% of EMT's in that area pass on the annual flu shot. The study also shows that of those who did not get their flu shot over half of them said they did not believe health officials who claim that the flu shot is not harmful.
Why is this information so disturbing? A high number of patients who come into contact with health care professionals already have weakened immune systems or are battling other co-morbid conditions that put them in a high risk category for developing deadly complications of the influenza virus. Few of them suspect that they could actually contract the flu from a health care worker. This is likely why many health care organizations are becoming so strict about employees getting vaccinated, and in my opinion, they should.
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