Many health care workers refuse flu shots - should you?

Many health care workers refuse flu shots – should you?

Guess who doesn’t want a flu shot?

Thousands of health care workers.

According to the Associated Press, well over half of all nurses, doctors, EMS personnel, and other health care workers take a pass on getting a yearly flu vaccine.

Now let’s think about this… They have easy access to the vaccine. They don’t have to put on their coat, drive somewhere, and stand in line. I’m sure for most of them there’s no charge for the shot. And you can be certain their employers strongly encourage them to get the shot, because the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that ALL health care workers be vaccinated.

So why do so many say no?

According to a 2006 UCLA/Harvard survey, health care workers say they’re concerned about flu shot side effects, they believe their immune systems are strong enough to fight off the flu, and they don’t believe the flu shot works.

Now where would they get an idea like that?

Well, some of them may have picked it up from Dr. Tom Jefferson, a researcher who’s led several flu vaccine studies.

Here’s a quote from Dr. Jefferson that appeared in the British Medical Journal: “The vaccine doesn’t work very well at all. What you see every year as the flu is caused by 200 or 300 different agents with a vaccine against two of them. That is simply nonsense.”

What’s NOT nonsense? Strengthening your immune system. And you know the drill: Exercise. Get plenty of sleep. Eat unprocessed, nourishing foods. Avoid sweets and junk foods. Reduce stress.

Sure – easier said than done, but that’s the way to do it.

Beyond that, you can read about what HSI Panelist Allan Spreen, M.D., does at the first sign of aches, fatigue, or any other symptoms of the flu in the e-Alert “Kall the Kops!”

“Flu Shots a Tough Sell to Health Care Workers” Melanie S. Welte, Associated Press, 10/16/08,
“Influenza Vaccination and Health Care Workers in the United States” Journal of General Internal Medicine, Vol. 21, No. 2, 2006,
“How Useful are Flu Vaccines?” Marco Mamone-Capria, British Medical Journal, 1/25/06,