There is either something wrong with the recruiting standards set by our health care system, or with our education system, particularly in the area of science education.
A group of health care workers calling themselves Concerned Health Care Providers is doing battle with regional health authorities over a policy requiring all medical staff to either get flu shots or wear surgical masks throughout the flu season. It is true that flu vaccine is only about 60 per cent effective, on an individual basis. And it is true that vaccines have been linked to side effects - in rare cases.
But it is also true that a few thousand Canadians can expect to die from the flu every year - tremendously more than can expect to feel any significant vaccination side-effects.
Anti-vaxxers who have infiltrated our health care system cite outdated and discredited studies to further their selfish interests, and ignore common sense and common decency.
The influenza virus is spread from person to person, and anything that works to reduce its spread - even by just 60 per cent (actually, "herd immunity" and other results of vaccination magnify that effect) - should indeed be mandatory for those whose livelihood puts them in direct contact with the most vulnerable among us.
In fact, the benefits of flu vaccine overwhelmingly outweigh the tiny risks. People with a proper science education should be able to understand that simple equation.
And people who call themselves "concerned health care providers" should be concerned more about the health care they provide than about being allowed to spread viruses among the vulnerable people whom they purport to care for most.
@ Copyright 2013