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Posted by . on Nov 4th, 2014 9:53am

It's time for everyone to get a flu vaccination, especially those involved in healthcare. Unions including 1199SEIU, the local chapter of the United Healthcare Workers union, are strongly urging their members to get vaccinated against the flu. And the Boston Globe's smart and practical editorial in support of mandatory flu vaccinations for all healthcare workers comes in the wake of the Massachusetts Nurses Association (MNA)'s lawsuit against one hospital trying to carry out the vaccine requirement. Word of the MNA's misguided effort is also garnering strong opposition from members of the general public and physicians, who de-bunk the union leadership's claims of high numbers of adverse events related to flu vaccine, and highlight the fact that nurses who decline flu vaccination and plan to "stay home" if they get sick can infect vulnerable patients prior to falling ill themselves.

MHA and our member hospitals and health systems have long supported mandatory flu vaccination for all healthcare workers. Flu vaccinations are cited by the federal CDC, state Department of Public Health, and local Boston Public Health Commission health officials as the single best preventative action every healthcare worker can take to safeguard the general health of the patients they care for. Getting a flu shot is safe, it's the best way to protect against the influenza virus, and it can prevent unnecessary anxiety and waste of healthcare resources needed to treat more serious illnesses – like Ebola – that have symptoms similar to the flu. Let's ensure all healthcare workers in Massachusetts get vaccinated against influenza this season, and make flu shots mandatory for every healthcare worker who doesn't have a religious or health exemption. It's the right thing to do to protect patients, families, co-workers, our loved ones and ourselves.


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