H1N1 Pandemic

by

Central California has been hard hit by the H1N1 influenza. We have had two deaths in our ICU due to this virus but two weeks ago. When we received our first doses of the vaccine, more than half of the nurses in my unit refused to be vaccinated. The reasons were varied. Some never got annual flu vaccines, others thought that they would get the flu from the vaccine, and still others felt like they had the H1N1 flu already and had natural immunity. The physician population had similar excuses. Attempts to educate and alleviate fears fell on deaf ears. I’m puzzled to watch healthcare professionals choose to not be vaccinated while they care for a much younger population suffering the sometimes deadly consequences of this novel flu. Freedom of choice appears to be a stronger motivator than fear. Are we teaching the general public and patients our fears and beliefs.

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