The Flu Shot

 Flu Shot:

Should it be mandatory for healthcare workers to get the flu shot?

Influenza (the flu) is an easily spread virus that targets the nose, throat and sometimes the lungs. Symptoms range from mild to severe. The virus can cause complications and, in some cases, lead to death.

Common symptoms include:

·      Sore throat

·      Runny/ stuffy nose

·      Cough

·      Fever

·      Chills

·      Headaches

·      Lack of energy

·      Body aches

Many healthcare workers have direct contact with patients. Some states do not require staff to get flu shots, although they encourage it. But should it mandatory for employment?



Benefits of the flu shot:

·      Can stop you from getting the flu.

·      Can reduce flu-related hospitalizations

·      Protect pregnant women

·      Can protect the people around you, including babies, young children, older adults and people with a higher risk of getting ill.

You should NOT get the flu shot if:

·      You have egg allergies

·      You had an allergic reaction to the flu shot itself

·      You have Guillain-Barré Syndrome 


Why some people refuse the flu shot?

Some people question if the flu shot actually works, while some individuals are concerned about the side negative effects, which can sometimes be similar to the flu itself. Also, some people do not feel that they are at risk of getting the flu. Religion can also play a role in someone refusing the flu shot. While there are several reasons why people decide against getting the flu shot, should individuals that work in healthcare be required to get the flu shot?






Although the flu shot is not 100% effective, it is important for individuals, especially healthcare workers to get the flu shot, in order to protect their patients. This is true unless you have a medical or religious reason to waive getting the vaccination. Whether or not it should be required for employment should be left up to the hospital or facility. However, it is important to find the balance between employee rights and keeping the best interest of the patient in mind.




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Nelson, W. A., & Lahey, T. (2013). The ethics of mandatory flu shots. Balancing patient

protection with healthcare worker autonomy is essential. Healthcare Executive, 28(6), 42–46. Retrieved from