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Vaccine exemption for nurses?

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
A friend of mine is starting nursing school (in New York), and doesn't want to get all the vaccines that they require.

How can she refuse the shots?
post #2 of 19
Every one can obtain a exemption ...
www.myspace.com/vaccinefacts has a blog on exemptions
also www.vaccinerights.com has info as well
hth
post #3 of 19
She may be able to get one for the school but may have problems when it comes to clinicals as the facilities do not have to accept her.
post #4 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Emmeline II View Post
the facilities do not have to accept her.
Really? That's horrible! That doesn't seem legal!
post #5 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kerimommyof2 View Post
Every one can obtain a exemption ...
www.myspace.com/vaccinefacts has a blog on exemptions
also www.vaccinerights.com has info as well
hth
Thanks for the links, but I found it hard to find just a straightforward form to fill out on those sites.

Does anyone have any link to a form she can fill out with info on where to send the form?

The goal is to get exempted from the vaccines "required" to attend nursing school.

Thanks!
post #6 of 19
There is no exemption form for adults; the state exemption form is only for daycare, preschool, and K-12 (public, private and parochial). For post-secondary students, she can still apply for an exemption directly at the school, but she would have to find out from the school what their procedure is. Most likely, she'll have to write a letter explaining her personal religious beliefs regarding vaccinations. Her best bet is to contact Gary Krasner (at the Coalition For Informed Choice) before submitting her exemption letter: cfic@nyct.net

Here is the section of the public health law that she would be covered under:

§ 2165. Immunization of certain post-secondary students.

1. As used in this section, unless the context requires otherwise:

a. The term "institution" means a college as defined in section two of the education law.
b. The term "student" means any person born on or after January first, nineteen hundred fifty-seven, who is registered to attend or attends classes at an institution, whether full-time or part-time. "Part-time student" shall mean a student who is enrolled for at least six but less than twelve semester hours, or the equivalent per semester or at least four but less than eight semester hours per quarter at an institution.
c. The term "health practitioner" means any person authorized by law to administer an immunization.
d. The term "immunization" means an adequate dose or doses of an immunizing agent against measles, mumps and rubella which meets the standards approved by the United States public health service for such biological products, and which is approved by the state department of health under such conditions as may be specified by the public health council.

2. Each student at an institution shall provide to the institution a certificate from a health practitioner or other acceptable evidence of such student's immunization, unless such student presents a certificate under subdivision eight of this section or is exempt under subdivision eight-a or nine of this section. Upon compliance, no student shall be denied attendance at an institution because of the requirements of this section.

9. This section shall not apply to a person who holds genuine and sincere religious beliefs which are contrary to the practices herein required, and no certificate shall be required as a prerequisite to such person being admitted or received into or attending an institution.
post #7 of 19
The issue is not with the school, but with the clinical sites. Hospitals, State Health Depts, and other healthcare facilities can require proof of immunity to certain diseases for health care workers. I had to show serologic proof of immunity to varicella and rubella to get a nursing license in California. Texas just requires Hep B for nursing school (which makes sense), but the Texas dept of Health requires, MMR, Td, Varicella, Influenza, Hep A & B for most of its workers.
post #8 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by anj_rn View Post
The issue is not with the school, but with the clinical sites. Hospitals, State Health Depts, and other healthcare facilities can require proof of immunity to certain diseases for health care workers. I had to show serologic proof of immunity to varicella and rubella to get a nursing license in California. Texas just requires Hep B for nursing school (which makes sense), but the Texas dept of Health requires, MMR, Td, Varicella, Influenza, Hep A & B for most of its workers.

such a shame, huh?
post #9 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by anj_rn View Post
The issue is not with the school, but with the clinical sites. Hospitals, State Health Depts, and other healthcare facilities can require proof of immunity to certain diseases for health care workers.
Is it possible to show them a notarized statement of religious exemption instead?

Doesn't it violate our basic rights that the state would absolutely require immunizations of individuals with no exceptions?
post #10 of 19
Thread Starter 
Thank you so much for your help, Proverbs31!
post #11 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by rayo de sol View Post
Doesn't it violate our basic rights that the state would absolutely require immunizations of individuals with no exceptions?
No one *has* to be a nurse.
post #12 of 19
I'm in CA. The hospital where the nursing students go here has a policy that if you don't/can't get the flu vax, you have to wear a mask anytime that you are within 6 feet of anyone in the hospital. So it's not exactly required....
post #13 of 19
I really don't know about exemptions in my state. But I feel health care workers should be vaccinated. As a nurse, you are often wrist deep in a semi-stranger's bodily fluids. Yes, universal precautions are a must. Gloves, masks, safety visors, gowns. But sometimes those tear, or fail. I was helping a patient in the bathroom. As she got off the toilet, a bottle of lotion fell off the sink into the toilet, causing soiled toilet water to splash up directly into my eye. You wouldn't be wearing a safety visor to escort someone out of a bathroom (gloves yes), so you can see how accidents can happen. People can leave butterfly needles hanging right at the opening to a sharps container, just out of sight. You can get poked. It's much harder now with the needleless systems, but you can see there is lots of potential for infection working in such an environment. And it does happen.
I worked in an area with an extremely high incidence of Hep B. and Hep C, so I was very glad of the vaccines.

Also, as a nurse, part of your duty is to protect your patients from further infection and hospital borne illnesses. In other words, the patients should not have to worry about getting infected from staff members. Vaccinating for health care workers is important for nosocomial infection prevention.
You are caring for folks who are already sick, may have low blood counts/immunity, or be very frail to begin with.

So you may feel that it violates your rights, but don't the patients have a right to safety within the hospital as well?

A person new to the field may not understand the entirety of the situation here. I would suggest that this nursing student talk to some experienced nurses and get their opinions, as well as look into the exemptions, if she still feels that strongly about them.
post #14 of 19

You do not have the right to suppress the rights of some one to keep yourself safe.
Its unconstitutional.
In any setting.

post #15 of 19

all those vaccines that you got are not going to prevent the kind of hospital illnesses one catches while in there as a patient.  MRSA, C-diff, staph for which there is no vaccine,  and certain viral/bacterial pneumonia are a lot easier to get in a hospital if medically frail.  

Quote:
Originally Posted by OakBerry View Post

I really don't know about exemptions in my state. But I feel health care workers should be vaccinated. As a nurse, you are often wrist deep in a semi-stranger's bodily fluids. Yes, universal precautions are a must. Gloves, masks, safety visors, gowns. But sometimes those tear, or fail. I was helping a patient in the bathroom. As she got off the toilet, a bottle of lotion fell off the sink into the toilet, causing soiled toilet water to splash up directly into my eye. You wouldn't be wearing a safety visor to escort someone out of a bathroom (gloves yes), so you can see how accidents can happen. People can leave butterfly needles hanging right at the opening to a sharps container, just out of sight. You can get poked. It's much harder now with the needleless systems, but you can see there is lots of potential for infection working in such an environment. And it does happen.
I worked in an area with an extremely high incidence of Hep B. and Hep C, so I was very glad of the vaccines.

Also, as a nurse, part of your duty is to protect your patients from further infection and hospital borne illnesses. In other words, the patients should not have to worry about getting infected from staff members. Vaccinating for health care workers is important for nosocomial infection prevention.
You are caring for folks who are already sick, may have low blood counts/immunity, or be very frail to begin with.

So you may feel that it violates your rights, but don't the patients have a right to safety within the hospital as well?

A person new to the field may not understand the entirety of the situation here. I would suggest that this nursing student talk to some experienced nurses and get their opinions, as well as look into the exemptions, if she still feels that strongly about them.
post #16 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by emmy526 View Post

all those vaccines that you got are not going to prevent the kind of hospital illnesses one catches while in there as a patient.  MRSA, C-diff, staph for which there is no vaccine,  and certain viral/bacterial pneumonia are a lot easier to get in a hospital if medically frail.  

True, though just because there isn't a vaccine for everything doesn't mean that you shouldn't get the vaccines they do have. As a nurse, I mean.

post #17 of 19

British Columbia to require flu vaccines for ALL healthcare workers

 

 

 

 

Quote:
[s]ince only about 40 percent of B.C. healthcare workers get vaccinated every year -- this percentage has been steadily dropping year after year -- health authorities are apparently deeply worried that their flu vaccine scam is quickly losing credibility. So the only way to effectively stop this, in their own estimate, is to basically force healthcare workers to get their annual flu shots, or else be summoned to look silly wearing "scarlet letter" face masks that serve no legitimate purpose.

 

post #18 of 19

yes, but the chances of catching hospital aquired illnesses as a patient,  is more likely than a vpd, and there is no guarantee any vaccine works to prevent anything.  

Quote:
Originally Posted by MichelleZB View Post

True, though just because there isn't a vaccine for everything doesn't mean that you shouldn't get the vaccines they do have. As a nurse, I mean.

post #19 of 19

She may be able to prove that she is already immune, by doing blood work (testing for titers) for measles, mumps, rubells, hep A and B (I think there's a titer test), and maybe others.

 

Obviously, she can't do it for the flu shot, but given the choice between a flu shot and a mask, I'd choose to wear the mask (if her clinic allows that option).

 

If she must get a flu immunization, the FluMist does not contain thimerosal, and I think (double-check me on this) it doesn't have aluminum either.  THat said,she's more likely to have mild case of the flu within a few weeks, plus she'll be contagious for up to 3 weeks, so she should wear a mask if in a clinical setting during that time period. So, if she can't get out of it altogether, that might be the option least likely to cause her long-term complications.

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