Welcome to the archives for NewsTalk, an IBJ blog published from November 2007 through December 2010.

Unvaccinated docs, nurses

August 26, 2009
How would you feel if the doctor or nurse in charge of your health wasn’t vaccinated for swine flu?

Some in the profession think it would be unethical, that the workers risk infecting patients. Yet, a study suggests the scenario could materialize easier than ordinary people might suspect.

The study, published on the Web site of the British Medical Journal, focused on health care workers in Hong Kong, which has been buffeted by both swine flu and bird flu. Nearly half of health workers in public hospitals said they’d refuse a swine flu shot, which isn’t available yet. Survey respondents feared the shots or felt they would be ineffective.

The study projected that health care workers around the world likely have similar thoughts.

Indiana’s health department has 317 confirmed cases of the flu, and has warned of potential for a serious outbreak during the upcoming flu season.

How do you feel about this? Should vaccinations be required of health workers? Are there legitimate reasons for workers to refuse the shots?
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