On December 1, 2012, all health care workers in BC will be forced to get a flu shot, or wear a mask while at work. Health care workers are also expected to wear a distinctive badge indicating they’ve had the shot. The BC Nurses’ Union has filed a grievance against the policy because they question the credibility of the studies used to justify it.
The Cochrane Collaboration is a not-for-profit international network of researchers, practitioners and consumers who prepare and update systematic reviews of the effects of healthcare interventions. Based upon systematic reviews of 274 influenza vaccine studies between 1948 and 2007, the Cochrane Collaboration concluded that vaccines have a weak or non existent evidence base against influenza. Conclusions favourable to the use of influenza vaccines were associated with lower quality studies and industry funded (biased) studies.
When asked about the new policy, Dr. Jefferson of the Cochrane Collaboration wrote: “It is not my place to judge the policies underway in British Columbia, but coercion and forcing public ridicule on human beings (for example by forcing them to wear distinctive badges or clothing) is usually the practice of tyrants.”