Mandating h1n1 vaccine

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A survey of 1,500 British nurses conducted in August by the Nursing Times found that one-third would not get the vaccine because of safety concerns.In the United States, the drive is fueling anti-government sentiment and rumors on the Internet and elsewhere that the vaccine may become compulsory for everyone.ALBANY — Several hundred health-care workers, civil libertarians and members of anti-vaccine groups on Tuesday railed against a mandate that medical professionals get seasonal and swine-flu vaccines.Nurses and other health-care workers said they shouldn't be forced to get a vaccine that they don't believe has been tested appropriately as a condition of keeping their jobs.

Critics, however, say the decision to get vaccinated should remain individual, especially for the swine flu vaccine, which was rushed into production to try to blunt the pandemic's second wave. It will be distributed in addition to the seasonal flu vaccine. The priority groups for pandemic vaccine are pregnant women, people who live with or care for children younger than 6 months, health workers, people ages 6 months to 24 years and people ages 25 to 64 who have chronic health conditions. Wherever flu shots are given, from doctors' offices to supermarkets.Some states will provide shots through schools and health departments.This is one of the questions that come up regularly for those of us responsible for vaccination programs in facilities and those of us involved with influenza outbreak management.Now as the world faces its first influenza pandemic in 40 years, the questions take on new urgency.But while medical experts generally agree that the influenza vaccine is the most effective way to avoid getting the flu, some members of the community don’t agree with forcing the vaccine upon workers. Michael Gardam said he used to be in favour of mandatory flu shots, but changed his tune after he began investigating the literature.

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