Opinion: Hospital workers must get their flu shots

Gerald Cherry. Dominic Baldassano, A+ Medical B. Anselmo Dinges, Board Member. Oct. 10, 2018 Dear Editor: This is in regards to health care workers not attending their annual flu vaccinations, particularly in Ontario. The…

Opinion: Hospital workers must get their flu shots

Gerald Cherry. Dominic Baldassano, A+ Medical B. Anselmo Dinges, Board Member.

Oct. 10, 2018

Dear Editor:

This is in regards to health care workers not attending their annual flu vaccinations, particularly in Ontario.

The government has stated the reason for not making public health workers get their shots is that they said they will become sick with the flu and put patients in danger. The flu kills between 36,000 and 49,000 Canadians each year, according to the Public Health Agency of Canada.

This is a gross failure on the part of the government which places the needs of the marginalized in this province over its responsibility to patients.

In order to spread influenza, the flu virus must be taken into the body through the nose, either by an oral vaccine or a nasal spray. The virus needs to enter the bloodstream by the skin and enter the lung in order to cause breathing difficulties and high fevers which results in hospitalization, hospitalization, hospitalization, and then sometimes death.

The flu shot or nasal spray is a form of protection that can provide 99% protection from getting sick or suffering from symptoms such as fever, sore throat, cough, nasal congestion and/or runny nose and sneezing that lead to hospitalization.

I encourage the government to remove this form of immunization from the list for public health workers.

Last year, in Alberta, after several health workers missed the vaccines for lack of conscience, the Alberta Health Services (AHS) board advised Alberta Health to “develop an insurance plan to reimburse individuals for vaccine costs and reimburse individuals for the costs incurred for family medical leave due to participation in the influenza vaccine program.”

In the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends every health care worker in the country gets the influenza vaccine at least every two years.

Ontario should have a similar program for health care workers, especially if health care workers are going to be responsible for the care of the marginalized and the development of and administering medication to these marginalized persons.

This would be an excellent way to support and empower these marginalized persons.

I have advised the Ontario public health director about this situation and the provinces poor health care workers should be required to get their annual flu vaccinations.

Let’s hope the Government of Ontario will take the right step and make the health care workers in the province accountable.

Please accept my apologies for saying so at this time.

Vivian Ann Lawson

Senior Research Assistant

London-based Heritage Health Research Foundation

Email: [email protected]

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