That may be a disturbing undercurrent question for healthcare authorities to consider in Israel where Mother and Child Healthcare Centers nurses refused to get vaccinated against pertussis. Why would nurses, who vaccinate infants and children, refuse to get vaccinations for themselves even when a directive went out that all MCHC nurses must be vaccinated against pertussis? Only two percent got those vaccinations by the end of three months. That left healthcare authorities not only scratching their heads in amazement, but also apparently suggesting—and getting—a study performed to analyze the problem. The results of that study are published in the journal Vaccine. 
The authors of the paper “What lies behind the low rates of vaccinations among nurses who treat infants” are ‘heavy-hitters’ from Israel’s School of Public Health and the Haifa District Health Office, Ministry of Health. It appears from the authors’ pedigree that Israel health authorities are determined to do a shake down and probably “kick butt” to get vaccinations up to par among nurses, above all people. So what did they find? VacTruth readers probably won’t be surprised.
After reading the report, this author decided to classify the findings into several breakout reasons for easier and a more comprehensive interpretation of the study.
Reason 1: Nurses lack of trust in health authorities
Their lack of trust apparently was grounded in the H1N1 pandemic fiasco that had every thinking person questioning what all healthcare authorities were doing and mandating on a global basis. Does that make those Israeli nurses bad nurses or bad people? Heck no! I’d say they were correct in their mistrust. Even the World Health Organization was called on the carpet for its part in misjudging a health crisis pandemic that never panned out.
Reason 2: Mistrust of health information
So why should nurses be different from parents and researchers—other than Big Pharma’s paid science performers—who see, know, and experience what’s going on with children after receiving vaccinations. The nurses felt the information they received was inadequate, plus it did not answer their professional needs in helping them counsel families. Perhaps that is not unique to the Israeli situation. Many contend the same thing happens in the United States, i.e., doctors don’t know what the vaccine package inserts say.
Reason 3: The nurses right to autonomy
Nothing this author could say about that speaks more clearly than what one nurse is quoted as saying, “…what are we? –in Soviet Russia?…on principal I am not getting vaccinated this year.” Furthermore, the nurses feel that they don’t want to be told what to do regarding their personal lives, which should not be mixed in with their profession. The Israeli nurses claim they should not have to be role models.
Reason 4: A fear of side effects
The article states that nurses have reported on their experiences with side effects of vaccinations, and “they felt the authorities were using them as guinea pigs.”
Furthermore, their claim that vaccines were not in use long enough to know what side effects to expect or were reported was valid reason for their fear. This author is totally in agreement with that assessment.
Reason 5: Risk perceptions
Even though the nurses dealt daily with infants and children, they did not consider themselves to be at risk for contracting pertussis. Furthermore, they wanted something that this author has been pitching for, for years, which is testing for levels of immunity response before vaccination, and not blindly assuming everyone has to be vaccinated. This author thinks the important factor in testing infants, in particular, would be to check for mitochondrial proclivities that would increase a child’s vaccine adverse reactions that impact the brain with such anomalies as convulsions, febrile seizures, ADD, ADHD, and the autism spectrum disorder, e.g., health issues—some of which were never discussed in medical journals—except after children were mandated to get vaccinations in the 1980s.
Overall, the nurses expressed in the survey “the importance of having autonomy in the decision to be immunized against pertussis.” Personally, I think that is every thinking person’s concern, desire, and inborn, God-given right: Autonomy not mandates.
The other issue the nurses were vocal about and that authorities everywhere don’t like hearing is, “their clients had the same right to decide for themselves whether or not to immunize their children and respected this.” Such consensus must “bust the chops” of healthcare authorities and Big Pharma lobbyists everywhere, just not in Israel.
Interestingly, the Israeli MCHC nurses were not unique in their refusal to vaccinate. There are several studies voicing similar concerns. They include:
- Seasonal and Pandemic A(H1N1) 2009 influenza vaccination coverage and attitudes among health-care workers in a Spanish University Hospital, Vaccine 2009;28(July) 30)):4751-7.
- Influenza vaccination compliance among health care workers in a German university hospital. Infection 2009;37(June(3)):197-202.
- The reluctance of nurses to get vaccinated against influenza. Vaccine 2010;28(June(29)):4548-9.
- The age-old struggle against the antivaccinationists, New England Journal of Medicine 2011;364(January (2)):97-9.
- Influenza vaccination of health care workers in hospitals—a review of studies on attitudes and predictors. Vaccine 2009;27(June(30)):3935-44.
What apparently comes out of this is that nurses and other healthcare professionals question many issues that health authorities seemingly want to shove down the throats, literally speaking, of children, parents, and adults regarding vaccines and vaccination safety issues. Very few are willing to take for granted that safety studies have been done because either they know what they see happening as adverse events or they know all too well the skullduggery that transpires in medical science to prove points. Class action lawsuits against Big Pharma sometimes speak volumes.
Again, I must reiterate that nurses are no different from oncologists, those medical doctors who give chemotherapy to cancer patients. The very MDs who push chemo on cancer patients said in a survey that they would NOT take the very drugs they give to their cancer patients. What does that tell you?
Something definitely is very wrong in medicine, and pharmacology in particular with vaccines as a huge moneymaker in the healthcare market place. Medicine and health authorities really need to assess that the healthcare consumer is smarter than they think. Authorities also need to revamp not only their thinking but also their science to a factual basis if they want to be taken seriously not only by the public, but also by healthcare professionals.
References O Baron-Epel, et al. What lies behind the low rates of vaccinations among nurses who treat infants? Vaccine 30 (2012):3151-3154