At my hospital, this year the flu shot has become mandatory. I got mine today, as did most of us at my office, when one of the nurses from occ health came around to give them. Two people have declined. What is going to happen to them, we don't know. They have to the end of the year to officially decline. Then- I don't know what will happen.
It is coming down from the government. It is something easy to monitor. It is medical. It makes money for vaccine makers. In theory, it could mean fewer flu infections from provider to patient- although the vaccines are far from perfect, and most staff people will never get the flu anyway. But I think that there are a lot of other things they could do which would keep our patients healthier. Like giving us sick days that are not of our PTO, and encouraging us to use those days, when we are sick.
I think we need some germs. We are not designed to live in a sterile environment. But I'm not sure that means we have to expose ourselves and our patients to the flu. I have more of a problem with the chicken pox vaccine- which is rarely deadly or disabling (although shingles can be). We need some germs, or our immune system will go haywire, and cause all sorts of trouble.
I take the flu vaccine because I think it might protect my patients. And I really don't want to get the flu- I think it would be miserable. But I don't know if we should force every one to get it. I can't decide. If it stops there, maybe. If this is the beginning of a slippery slope, then we are in big trouble.