They are coming after Grandma again!
Last year, during flu season, I authored the opinion that we should support the health districts' edict that health care workers who choose not to get a flu shot should not be caring for anybody unless they are willing to wear a mask.
The implementation of that policy last flu season was stopped by one of my biggest fans, head nurse Deborah McPherson.
Somehow (you think it may have had something to do with the election?), the health districts decided to back off the edict, and although health districts are supposedly independent of government, they chose to, as they say in politics, "kick the can forward," which means they put off the implementation.
Depending on your analysis, that decision probably caused thousands of British Columbians to die from the flu, and according to Dr. Bonnie Henri, it is not a nice way to pass. It is painful, which makes it painful for your loved ones, too.
We are to the point where we kicked the can, too, and are currently in arbitration.
Dr. Jeff Kwong, one of the highest-level researchers of immunization in Canada, has been pleading for all governments to promote the benefits of vaccination.
It is hard to comprehend how educated people are somehow convinced that vaccinating their children or themselves is dangerous.
Do we want to go back to days of polio, measles, and mumps? Earlier this year, we had an outbreak of measles in Abbotsford in which it was reported that compliance of vaccination amongst children is down to 62 per cent.
To deny vaccines is to deny science.
There are millions of children who are walking today who wouldn't be, had they not been given the polio vaccine.
(I digress.) Every survey I have seen says there is no downside to flu vaccination.
On the upside is an interesting analysis of data and patient population health in New Mexico's 75 long term care facilities and nursing homes, which found that, as vaccination rates of health care personnel with direct patient contact rose from 51 per cent to 75 per cent, the chances of a flu outbreak amongst patients in that facility went down by 87 per cent.
The study showed that vaccinating health care personnel provided more protection to residents than vaccinating the residents themselves.
The Chief Canadian Medical Officer in charge of our health care and the B.C. Chief Medical Officer Dr. Harry Kendall are telling us health care workers should be vaccinated.
Perhaps we should listen. There is information being distributed to health care workers throughout the province to help them make informed decisions.
Our health care workers, through their union, have decided that they want the right to share the flu virus, and they called the edict "tyranny."
Their unions decided the subject was too hot for them to handle, so they passed the issue off to the Health Sciences Association (HSA) which is the bargaining arm of health care unions.
HSA has been leading the legal protest in the arbitration process against the province's six health authorities.
Everyone is waiting for the ruling from Arbitrator Robert Diebolt, who presided over 15 days of arguments from each side.
One of the presentations was that people who choose not to be vaccinated will have to wear "a badge of shame," since everyone will know that masks are only being worn by those who choose not to be vaccinated. Go figure! So, if the unvaccinated insist on working, maybe someone should assign them to all the comatose patients with DNR (Do Not Resuscitate) designations.
That will open up at least a couple of hundred beds.
Gordy Robson's column appears Tuesdays in the print and/or online versions of The TIMES. Reactions can be emailed c/o firstname.lastname@example.org.
@ Copyright 2013