Federal Safety Agency Says NO to Mandatory Flu Shots

February 3, 2012

It’s a little bit funny that OSHA would tell the National Vaccine Advisory Committee that flu shots are not as effective as they would like to think . . . and required flu shots would give health care workers a false sense of safety from getting the flu. About half of doctors, nurses and other health care workers refuse the flu shot already according to three surveys in the past three years.

OSHA Says “No” to Flu Shot Mandates Without Exemptions
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) sets workplace safety standards and rules (from ladders, railings and exit signs to exposures to hazardous materials). OSHA recently issued a statement opposing mandatory flu shots for health care workers that do not contain exemptions for medical, religious and personal/philosophical belief reasons. OSHA stated:
     “ 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.”

OSHA’s complete position statement was submitted to the National Vaccine Advisory Committee (NVAC) last September and appears in the NVAC’s certified minutes as Appendix B on page 25 here.

http://journal.livingfood.us/2012/02/03/federal-safety-agency-says-...

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