One Government Agency Says No to Mandatory Flu ShotsSunday, February 12, 2012
Heroic OSHA? Really?
While the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has advocated for mandatory flu shots for all Americans, a much easier goal has been to force the issue upon workers in the healthcare industry. However, it’s interesting that the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) has pushed back on Big Government’s and Big Pharma’s mutual goal of forcing people who work in the healthcare industry to get government-mandated vaccinations. Here’s an article, “OSHA Crashes Mandatory Flu Shot Party,” from the Hospital Infection Control & Prevention website:
The federal agency most directly charged with protecting health care workers has come out against mandating that they be immunized against seasonal influenza. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) — which likely would be charged with enforcing any such edict — cited “serious policy concerns” in arguing against a draft federal initiative that would clear the way for mandatory flu shots at hospitals that cannot achieve 90% flu vaccination rates.
“OSHA believes that there must be a very high burden of proof that mandatory … programs are not just desirable, but also necessary to protect the public health before the government promotes such a controversial policy that may result in employment termination. At this time, OSHA believes there is insufficient evidence for the federal government to promote mandatory influenza vaccination programs that may result in employment termination.”
The National Vaccine Advisory Committee (NVAC), an advisory committee to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), met this week to discuss how to best achieve the goals of vaccinating at least 90% of all healthcare industry workers. NVAC had drafted Recommendation 4, which says that facilities that fail to reach the 90% immunization level “should strongly consider an employer requirement for influenza immunization.” This article nicely sums up comments – and opposition – to the NVAC proposal.
Here is a public comment from the excellent National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC):
In the past two years, we have seen an increase in the number of harassment reports made by health professionals to NVIC. They are reporting they are being threatened and fired from their jobs for declining influenza vaccination 7 even though (1) they have already suffered previous vaccine reactions that their employers refuse to recognize as serious enough to qualify for a medical exemption because those reactions to not adhere to strict CDC contraindication guidelines; or (2) they have a personal or family history of severe allergies, vaccine reactions, autoimmune or neurological disorders that employers reject as qualifiers for a medical exemption because the CDC does not list those medical conditions as a reason to defer vaccination; or (3) they have deeply held spiritual or conscientious beliefs that oppose vaccination but the employer refuses to grant an exemption because the health care worker does not belong to an organized religion or church with a tenet opposing vaccination, which is a violation of constitutional rights.