Goshen News, Goshen, IN

Letters to the Editor

February 28, 2013

Hospital deserves praise for vaccination policy

When a hospital conforms to recommendations laid forth by the CDC and AMA, it should be praised rather than castigated. IU Health Goshen Hospital decided to require influenza vaccinations for all employees, taking a necessary step to make itself a safer bastion of treatment and recovery. It was disappointing that several employees resisted the crucial change. Many myths abound regarding vaccination, and some in the health care field have unfortunately believed these lies.

Vaccines are a safe and effective means of preventing infectious disease and the morbidity and mortality that accompany it. It is important for the public to know that vaccines do not cause autism, the “flu shot” does not cause the flu, the”flu shot” is extremely safe and only rarely causes serious problems, and the “flu shot” prevents illness and death. Influenza vaccination protects against the three most common strains present and is typically 60 to 90 percent effective. Influenza usually kills between 3,000 and 49,000 people Americans annually, and between 50 to 100 million people worldwide in 1918-1919. The sick and elderly are most at risk, one reason it is essential all health care providers be immunized. There are no herbal remedies or vitamins which are truly effective at preventing the flu. Additionally, the major religions of today, including Christianity, Islam, and Judaism, do not hold doctrines which denounce vaccination.

It is reckless and irresponsible for health care workers to remain unvaccinated. That a nurse or physician might spread preventable sickness to vulnerable patients is horrific. Vaccinations have saved countless lives since Edward Jenner developed the first smallpox vaccine in 1798, and it is because of vaccines that America has largely forgotten about the deadly world of infectious diseases. IU Health Goshen Hospital is thankfully staying on guard against infectious disease, and the entire Goshen community should as well.

— Martin Magers

Indianapolis

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