Finally, we have the definitive answer to the question: Should all health care workers get flu shots?

Most hospitals and health centers force employees who have contact with patients to get flu shots. And every year we hear about employees getting fired because they refuse to give in.

But now those holdout employees have science on their side.

Recently, the Cochrane Collaboration reviewed five studies that included thousands of health care workers. They found no evidence that vaccinations of those workers prevented flu in long term care patients.

This is not shocking news. An earlier Cochrane review of all existing flu vaccine studies concluded that flu shots don’t prevent flu.

But even if they did, the shots would STILL be nearly worthless.

According to the British Medical Journal, only 15% of all flu-like illnesses are actually caused by the flu. About 85% are caused by hundreds of other pathogens — and none of them can be prevented by a seasonal flu shot.

If hospitals want to help their employees stay well through flu season, they should encourage these two PROVEN preventives: vitamin D3 supplements and frequent hand washing.

Those are the best ways to avoid the flu AND all those other bad bugs out there.

“Should influenza vaccination be mandatory for healthcare workers?” Will Offley, British Medical Journal, Vol. 347, No. 10, 11/12/13,

Get urgent health alerts, warnings and insights delivered straight to your inbox