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OSHA's Official Position on Flu Vaccination of Healthcare Workers

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"The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is strongly supportive of efforts to increase influenza vaccination rates among healthcare workers in accordance with the Healthy People 2020 goals. However, at this time, OSHA believes there is insufficient scientific evidence for the federal government to promote mandatory influenza vaccination programs that do not have an option for the HCP to decline for medical, religious and/or personal philosophical reasons.                                                                                                      

While we are supportive of the Healthy People 2020 goal of a 90% vaccination rate, we have seen no evidence that demonstrates that such a high rate is in fact necessary. Furthermore, the current influenza vaccine is no magic bullet. The current state of influenza vaccine technology requires annual reformulation and revaccination and the efficacy is quite variable. Every year there are numerous circulating strains of influenza that are not included in the vaccine. In years where the antigenic match is good, the vaccine only provides protection against the 3 strains in the formulation. In years when the antigenic match is poor, the vaccine may provide no protection at all. The limits of current influenza vaccine technology are especially problematic in the context of a mandatory influenza vaccination program that results in job loss. Lastly, reliance on a mandatory influenza vaccination policy may provide healthcare workers, health care facility management and patients with an unwarranted sense of security and result in poor adherence to other infection control practices that prevent all types of infections, not just influenza. Influenza vaccination has always been just one part of a comprehensive multi-layered infection control program. 

While OSHA does not believe that there is sufficient evidence to meet the bar necessary to support mandatory vaccination programs, we nonetheless are convinced that influenza vaccination is generally beneficial and are supportive of efforts to promote vaccination. Influenza vaccination exemptions should be for HCP with valid medical contraindications to vaccinations, or religious and/or personal objections and a signed declination statement that indicates the HCP has been educated regarding influenza, is aware of the risk and benefits of influenza vaccination, has been given the opportunity to be vaccinated with the influenza vaccine at no charge, and can receive the influenza vaccine in the future at no charge to the HCP."

Comments

Jason

I too agree, Thanks OSHA for viewing this with an open mind. The feds use this vaccination as a "back door tax" to gain more money and to create more bureaucracy. It is a giant lie and health care providers (i.e. pediatricians) are making bank on the issue. It is disgusting! I have read the CDC and somewhere in the middle of the report it states that there is no chance to stop the ever changing mutating virus. DUH! We will only strengthen the virus' but doing this as we did with bacterial infections and antibiotics! DUH! Also love the fact that I am forced to where a mask whose package label states that it will not protect against viral infections or exposure. It is strict punishment (NOT A CHOICE!) by the institutions to coerce us into taking the vaccinations and it is working, cuz who in their right mind would where a mask by choice when running around, up and down our facilities! OSHA - How about my rights to breath freely at my work place so I can produce the same amount of work as I would without the mask on. This creates a very unfair work place and also violates my privacy and also causes unnecessary tension between many of the workers not to mention the patients think they are being exposed to someone ill because we wear the mask. Pure OUTRAGE by those who want to take our FREEDOM Away. Thanks all and stand strong - or we will loose America or the America that is left (if any is left after Obama-Care takes away the rest of our Freedom and gives it the United Nation - by-by Constitution!)

Susana

Is this a real commentary from OSHA?? Because I've been on their website looking for this and I can't find it anywhere.

Bev

I am a RN as well. I was an LPN in a rural health clinic for several years. One evening in the after hours clinic in 2009, we saw about 35-40 cases of H1N1 influenza. All the people survived, no one was hospitalized, I did not contract the flu and I HAVE NEVER RECEIVED A FLU VACCINE!! I have been around just about every known case of flu since 2003 and never been ill with a flu virus. I wash my hands before I touch my eyes, nose, or mouth...the only guaranteed way to keep a flu virus out of your body. I also went back to nursing school because I was sick and tired of giving so many vaccines to babies and children whose parents blindly and whole heartedly believe in "their doctors". These parents never research vaccination and vaccination ingredients, side effects, risks and benefits, and adverse reactions. The sheeple need to wake up!!

wendy

So, I am an RN & the county I work in now requires the vaccine or else I have to wear a mask to work during flu season. Just started this year here in California. I am going to send this to the County Health Dept. and ask them to change the policy. Good luck Right?

Jenny Allan

These adult informed health workers vote with their feet!!

It's the same in the UK where only 24% of healthcare workers were vaccinated against H1N1 (Swine) Flu. The rest REFUSED, on the grounds that the testing was inadequate, but their spokespersons continued to urge the rest of us to get vaccinated.

It's a scandal that parents cannot refuse mandated vaccines for their vulnerable children.

Jen

Ya that's funny Jill. On the Today show, Snyderman bold-faced lied and said the flu shot is great protection against the flu. What a joke. Same with "The Doctors." Get the flu shot, bla, bla, bla. No mention of side effects like my poor grandmother had. Great to see his stance taken by OSHA based on new Cochrane meta analysis research.

GH

No doubt this is to prevent the spectacle of medical workers publicly protesting against a mandatory vaccine.

TicTocDoc

Those Feds. They are SO anti-vaccine.

Jill Fenech

"OSHA believes there is insufficient scientific evidence for the federal government to promote mandatory influenza vaccination programs "

I wish this was posted on every single "flu shot" advertisement that we are constantly bombarded with. How did this get past Nancy Snyderman?

Not an MD

Oh, and one more thing. Check out the flu shot declination form that Pharma wants all doctors to sign, if they decline. Who would sign such a form worded as it is below? It is a far cry from the OSHA recommendations above, the intent being to criminalize rejection of this vaccine (just like the pediatrician vaccination declination forms do):

"Declination of Influenza Vaccination
My employer or affiliated health facility, ___________________________, has recommended
that I receive influenza vaccination to protect the patients I serve.
I acknowledge that I am aware of the following facts:
 Influenza is a serious respiratory disease that kills thousands of people in the United States
each year.
 Influenza vaccination is recommended for me and all other healthcare workers to protect this facility’s patients from influenza, its complications, and death.
 If I contract influenza, I can shed the virus for 24 hours before influenza symptoms appear.
My shedding the virus can spread influenza to patients in this facility.
 If I become infected with influenza, I can spread severe illness to others even when my symptoms are mild or non-existent.
 I understand that the strains of virus that cause influenza infection change almost every year and, even if they don’t change, my immunity declines over time. This is why vaccination against influenza is recommended each year.
 I understand that I cannot get influenza from the influenza vaccine.
 The consequences of my refusing to be vaccinated could have life-threatening consequences to my health and the health of those with whom I have contact, including
• all patients in this healthcare facility
• my coworkers
• my family
• my community
Despite these facts, I am choosing to decline influenza vaccination right now for the following
reasons: ____________________________________________________________________
___________________________________________________________________________
___________________________________________________________________________
I understand that I can change my mind at any time and accept influenza vaccination, if vaccine
is still available.
I have read and fully understand the information on this declination form.
Signature: ____________________________________________ Date: ___________________
Name (print): _________________________________________
Department: __________________________________________ "

Not an MD

Due to the statement above, OSHA may just be the only federal agency in which I place any faith or hope. Sending out a great, big thank you to those at OSHA who produced this statement. It is clear that OSHA is an agency that has not lost its way, or altered its mission, to assure safe and healthful working conditions for working men and women. May OSHA never lose sight of the importance of its mission, nor the directive from Congress to achieve it, as other agencies (and medical societies) tragically have. OSHA should never become just another front group for Pharma. Pharma has more than enough of them already.

vvv

I guess OSHA has seen so many workplace injuries and deaths, it actually gets this issue.

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