No Forced Vaccines Press Release

August 3, 2015


Bullying of hospital staff to accept influenza vaccinations “absolutely unacceptable”


That staff at Waikato Hospital have been bullied into accepting influenza vaccinations, according to the NZ Herald is “absolutely unacceptable in a democracy” and is an “assault on workers’ human rights”.

Katherine Smith, spokeswoman for No Forced Vaccines says that she is “appalled” to learn that one staff member has been sacked because he or she did not comply with the new hospital policy regarding influenza vaccination. [1]

“Influenza vaccination carries serious risks, including the risk of developing Guillain Barre syndrome, a disorder of the nervous system which can involve varying degrees of paralysis and can be fatal in some cases,” Mrs Smith continues.

“It’s not surprising that many health professionals refuse influenza vaccinations, presumably because they do not want to put their health at risk.” [2]

She rejects the hospital’s claim that unvaccinated staff pose a risk to patients.

“People who are not vaccinated do not necessarily contract the flu if they are exposed to it”, she adds.

Nor, she adds, do influenza vaccinations necessarily protect staff and patients from the flu or flu-like illnesses, citing a Cochrane collaboration study which found that “at best [influenza] vaccines may only be effective against influenza A and B which represent only 10% of circulating viruses [that can cause flu-like symptoms]”. She also notes that the study’s authors stated that that the effectiveness of influenza vaccination in preventing illness was “small” – meaning that at last 40 people needed to be vaccinated against the flu to prevent just one case of “influenza like illness” and seventy-one people needed to be vaccinated to prevent just one case of influenza.

The researchers found that for healthy adults influenza vaccination “shows no appreciable effect on working days lost or hospitalisation”, Smith says. [3]

Under the circumstances, any policy that attempts to coerce hospital staff into accepting influenza vaccinations is not only an “assault on their human rights to make a free and informed choice about their own medical care” but the policy was also “not supported by solid science”, Smith concludes.