Mandatory flu shots for healthcare workers? Absolutely.

Related articles

In case you didn t already know, the flu vaccine is the only effective, safe way to protect yourself from contracting the flu. Although it s not completely protective most studies point to an efficacy rate of about 60 percent or more there is no downside to getting the shot, and it offers some degree of protection not only to the recipient, but to those with whom they come into contact, the so-called herd immunity which helps to stifle epidemics.

Which brings us to our next point mandatory flu vaccines for health care workers. ACSH s Dr. Josh Bloom participated in an in-print debate in U.S. News and World Report challenging Dr. Marc Siegel s opinion, which claimed that flu vaccines for healthcare workers won t protect patients.

Mandatory vaccination of healthcare workers is a no-brainer. The failure to protect already sick and vulnerable people from infections that are even partially preventable is nothing short of gross negligence, writes ACSH s Dr. Josh Bloom.

Addressing one of the common arguments against mandating flu vaccines, Dr. Bloom explains how, no one has the right to a job it is a privilege. A privilege that requires us to make certain sacrifices and assume some risks during our careers. Electricians, athletes, and those in the military all accept certain risks. Those who care for the ill carry an additional burden the need to protect their patients. If this means getting one vaccine each year, so be it.

On another flu-related note, U.S. officials are warning consumers to steer clear of fraudulent flu products so-called flu vaccine alternatives claiming to prevent or cure the flu. "These unproven products give consumers a false sense of security," said Mary Malarkey, director of FDA's Office of Compliance and Biologics Quality. "There is no need to buy a product that claims to be an alternative to the vaccine. Flu vaccine is still available and it's not too late to get vaccinated."