Tuesday, October 20, 2009

A very important fight for freedom

In August the state of New York passed regulation that stated all healthcare workers in the state must receive mandatory vaccinations for both the seasonal flu and the H1N1 virus of face termination. Recently the New York State Supreme Court issued a temporary restraining order to prevent the health department from firing workers who do not comply with the regulation. On October 30th they will have a hearing on the matter, and a very important issue with be decided. Do states have the right to force workers to receive medical treatments against their will?

I'm sure some readers will think that the government SHOULD have the right to force healthcare workers to receive immunizations against their will. The argument being, that since they are around sick people all the time they should take precautions to keep from getting contagious illnesses from those patients and spreading them to others. The thing is, they already do, it's why doctors and nurses are constantly washing their hands and wearing gloves. If a doctor or nurse looks at the potential risks involved with receiving a flu shot why should the state force them, at the risk of losing their jobs, to receive one?

The next thing, you, the dear reader could be thinking is "ohh there are no risks involved in a flu vaccine" but while there may not be wide-spread side effects, there ARE side-effects and risks. The less threatening side effects include soreness, aches, and fever. While on the more serious side there is the possiblity of an allergic reaction that could cause breathing problems, hives, dizzines and a fast heartbeat. There is also the very slim possiblity of developing a neurological disorder as a result of the ethyl mercury in Thimerosal, a preservative found in both the H1N1 and seasonal flu vaccines. If you don't believe me that you can contract serious neurological disorders from a vaccine, Google the name Desiree Jennings. I'd like you to also keep in mind that if you were to suffer a serious side-effect from the vaccine, you would essentially have no legal recourse to receive damages. All 5 makers of the vaccine have immunity from any lawsuits that would make them liable for any damage received from their vaccine.

Now besides for the questions of "what are the risks?" I'd also like to examine the question "is it effective?" I searched long and hard to try and find specific numbers of flu deaths from the year 1945 when the first flu vaccine was made up until the present day. I was unable to do so. What I was able to find was this quote from the insert that comes with every dose of the H1N1 vaccine: "Specific levels of hemagglutination-inhibition (HI) antibody titer post-vaccination with inactivated influenza virus vaccines have not been correlated with protection from influenza illness but the HI antibody titers have been used as a measure of vaccine activity.” What that essentially means is that there is no proof that the vaccine is effective for preventing the flu, but the fact that there are antibodies produced after the vaccine is administered is used anyway, as a way to show that the vaccine is effective. One maker of the vaccine, GlaxoSmithKline, says that “in some human challenge studies, HI antibody titers of ≥1:40 have been associated with protection from influenza illness in up to 50% of subjects.” So even one of the vaccine manufacturers numbers only show a 50% effectiveness rate? No wonder I've heard so many people complain that they got the flu even after getting a flu shot.

This blog post is not intended to influence anyone one way or the other about whether they decide to get a flu vaccine this year. What it is designed to do is present an argument of WHY a healthcare worker might choose not to receive one. And regardless of their profession, they should not be forced to receive a vaccine that they do not want. As much as some people might not like it, for the time being at least, America is a free country and one of those freedoms is the right to choose what medical treatments we do or do not want to receive. So let's hope that on October 30th the New York State Supreme Court makes the right decision and sides with freedom instead of fascism.