Monday, May 20, 2013

5-21-13 flu shot bill

A Fond du lac lawmaker says it’s a question of freedom, the Fond du lac County Public Health Officer has concerns about a newly proposed flu shot bill.  Republican representative Jeremy Thiesfeldt says under his bill Wisconsin employers including hospitals and nursing homes could no longer require workers to get flu shots.  "The biggest issue of it for me is a freedom issue.  It kind of comes down to your own personal freedoms to be able to medicate yourself in the way you see fit,"  Thiesfeldt said.   Fond du Lac County Public Health officer, Kim Mueller, says she was surprised to hear about the proposal.  "We try so hard every year to push getting the flu vaccinations and to have something come out like this, its a shame,"  Mueller said.   Thiesfeldt says he’s heard from hospital workers and health care contractors who say there were fired for refusing to be vaccinated.  "We have employees that have lost their jobs and I can produce these employees who have lost their jobs because of this,"  Thiesfeldt said.  "There are many who are grudginly taking this shot under the guise of protecting patients and protecting themselves from the flu who then ultimately do get sick.  There are certain people out there who know full well they have had these shots in the past, that when they get the flu shot they're going to get sick and miss work because they got the flu shot."  Mueller says you don't get the flu from the flu shot and says news that employees have lost their jobs for refusing to get the vaccine comes as a surprise to her.  "I don't know of anybody in this area or anywhere actually that has been fired due to something like this.  A lot of times if somebody doesn't want that vaccination for religious or medical reasons any employer will just have them sign a waiver,"  Mueller said.   Thiefeldt says there is a lot of debate about how effective the flu shot is in the first place.  Mueller says the effectiveness of the flu shot is getting better…and while it may not prevent everybody from getting sick, it may also lessen the severity of the symptoms for people who do get sick.

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