A Mandatory Flu Vaccine

Should the flu vaccine be compulsory? 

On 8 May, NPAQ shared a report entitled Aged care staff ‘could face ban if they refuse flu vaccine’ on social media. 

The report highlighted the government announcement that it will be mandatory for “every aged-care provider to offer the flu vaccine to every single worker” and that staff could be moved to different wards or even banned from shifts if they decline a free flu vaccine.

We asked for your feedback and views…

  • should flu vaccines be mandatory for all nurses and aged care staff?
  • should employees refusing be banned from working on the wards? 

The post received a mix of over 100 passionate responses and interesting comments. We analysed these in terms of how many support and how many are against. Here is the summary and some of the comments made.

 

31 against
mandatory flu vaccine

11 agreed
flu vaccine should be mandatory.

“No! No one should be able to dictate to me
what goes in my body!”

“Yes it should be mandatory for all health workers”

“Absolutely not, unless the flu vac is going to cover
every single strain which it never does,
I believe people not just nurses have the right to choose.”

“I agree - get the shot! No big deal.”

“Absolutely NOT freedom of choice”

“Should be mandatory unless medically contraindicated.”

As Nurses we have a responsibility to make sure we don’t negatively impact the vulnerable people we care for. Apart from vaccines, remember there are many other things we can do to prevent the spread of flu, including regular handwashing, use of alcohol-based hand washes, covering your nose and mouth into your elbow when you sneeze or cough, not sharing personal items and staying home when sick. 

The Department of Health has a range of fact sheets on the flu vaccine and if you dare to Google “Mandatory Flu Vaccine” you will find mountains of information.