Debate for mandatory health care worker flu vaccines rages on - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Debate for mandatory health care worker flu vaccines rages on

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - The debate of mandatory flu vaccinations among health care workers is nothing new. Both sides calling it a violation. One believing weak immune systems are at risk.

"Small infants and children and the elderly can so easily get the flu," says Tim Brickell with the Medic One service.

The other saying it's their bodies and their choice, "They are worried they will actually contract the flu," says Brickell.

The American Academy of Pediatricians is calling for mandatory flu shots for all doctors, nurses and other health care workers. Many big health organizations have long backed it, but this group is just the latest to join in on the movement. This latest push comes on the heels of a survey showing only about 30% of health care workers took the flu vaccine last year.

Brickell says his employees percentage is much higher,"Over 50% of our employees took the vaccine."

As far as the argument is concerned he says he sees both sides, but believes maybe the approach needs to be tweaked, "It could be a hard pill to swallow, but if it were approached from the point that it could save lives than people might be more receptive to it."

Brickell adds education is key. He believes the results will be much more positive if they explain what exactly is in the vaccine, "The approach needs to be a little bit more diplomatic."

He says all health care workers are in a life saving business. He believes they'll be more open minded if it's explained rather than forced that lives could be saved.

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