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NHS antivaxers may be banned from treating patient

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    Posted: September 08 2018 at 11:06am
NHS staff who refuse flu vaccine may be banned from treating patients



Doctors and nurses who refuse to have a flu jab this winter could be banned from working with patients, the NHS regulator has warned.

Health chiefs announced on Friday that frontline staff who fail to get the vaccine will be forced to explain themselves and may be “redeployed” away from wards.

The significant hardening of policy follows the crisis in NHS hospitals last winter, principally in A&E, driven by the worst outbreak of influenza in seven years.

Despite the threat posed by the condition, nearly one third of frontline health care workers had not been vaccinated.

Experts believe this exacerbated the pressures faced by hospitals due to higher than necessary absence through sickness, as well as unvaccinated staff spreading the virus among patients without necessarily falling ill themselves.

Figures suggest that a third of last winter’s increase in emergency admissions were flu-related

The new mandatory policy from NHS Improvement was announced alongside £145 million to prepare hospitals for the upcoming flu season.

This will include the provision of two additional wards at the Royal Stoke University Hospital, where last January a senior emergency doctor publicly apologised for the “third world conditions” endured by patients in A&E.



A study published in the same month found that for every 10 per cent increase in NHS vaccination rates, there is a 10 per cent fall in sickness absence.

According to NHS Improvement, “staff who decide not to be vaccinated to explain the reason, so that the organisation can use the information to support greater compliance”.

The statement added: “In hospital departments where patients have lower immunity and are most at risk of flu, it may be appropriate for those who choose not to be vaccinated to be redeployed to other areas where this promotes the overall safety of patients.”

NHS and social workers are entitled to the flu vaccine free of charge, while GP, dental practices and community pharmacies are expected to offer the jab to their frontline staff.

Professor Jane Cummings, Chief Nursing Officer at NHS, said: “By getting vaccinated against flu, health care workers can protect themselves, their families, colleagues and patients, making sure we have a healthy workforce and helping to reduce the pressures on services over winter.”

This year a newly-licenced “trivalent” vaccine will be available to all people aged over 65, which promises the strongest protection against flu in this more susceptible group.



Last winter saw the worst flu outbreak since 2010/11, with poor weather and increased outbreaks of respiratory ang gastrointestinal illnesses increasing demand

Nearly 300,000 more people attended A&E departments and 100,000 more people were admitted to hospital as an emergency compared to the year before.

More than 4.5 million in England were thought to be suffering from flu.

Dr Kathy McLean, chief operating officer at NHS Improvement, said: ““As we plan for this coming winter, efforts must continue to ensure emergency services and beds are prioritised for the sickest patients and that more people are enabled to recover at home.

“No one should stay in hospital any longer than they need to.”

The schemes announced on Friday from money already allocated to healthcare will pay for 256 new ambulances, as well as “make ready” hubs at ambulance headquarters to improve the restocking and maintenance of vehicles, leaders announced.


Source:   https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/09/07/nhs-staff-refuse-flu-vaccine-may-banned-treating-patients/
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DeepThinker Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 08 2018 at 12:01pm
So they use a year when the vaccine clearly didn't work to advocate for much stricter guidelines.... yea that makes sense.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Technophobe Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 08 2018 at 2:45pm
Vaccines are never 100% effective, but even the worst ones save lives. The last was no exception.

When it comes to vaccination, I believe in a person's right to chose; it's their life to risk. It would be nice if the truth were told about vaccines. They do carry risks. On average, said risks are far smaller than those of the disease, both in the size of the side-effects and the frequency. A ratio of a thousand to one is probably an understatement, but telling the lie that they are 100% safe is giving fuel to the anti-vaccine arguments that they do not warrant. Still, stupid or not a person should have the right to choose.

But in the instance of healthcare professionals, who are unvaccinated, it's not just their own life they are risking. If someone is not prepared to put their patients needs first, they should do another job.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DeepThinker Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 09 2018 at 2:09pm
Yes Technophobe I hear your point.   However it doesn't change my point.   Even your strongest vaccine proponents admit last years vaccine was a miss.   Even if everybody was vaccinated it probably wouldn't have made a difference.

The optics of this announcement would have been much better had it been made in reference to a vaccine that they could prove the effectiveness of.   Last years vaccine was not one to stake the farm on.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Technophobe Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 09 2018 at 2:52pm
Not true.

Well, not entirely.

It is true the vaccine was a miss. There were at least 4 strains of flu circulating and the trivalent only covered 3 of them. So many more people got sick than should have. The nastiest of the 4 strains WAS covered by the vaccine - at least partially.

Tragically every year people die of the flu. A few vaccinated people die along with the unvaccinated. But many, many more unvaccinated die than vaccinated people do. This year the ratio was not so gigantic as usual, because the vaccine partially missed. But it was tens of times less people who were unvaccinated who died, compared to a normal year, when hundreds of unvaccinated die for every vaccinated persons death, or a good-match year when the ratio is thousands to one.

There is a moral consideration too.

Vaccinated people can spread flu. They touch infected surfaces and transfer the virus to everything else they touch for the next few hours. Then the virus dies on their skin and they stop transitting it.

Unvaccinated people do the same. Then a day or so later - sometimes even before they exhibit symptoms - they start to distribute the flu they have incubated in their own bodies. This spreading of the contation goes on for a couple of weeks or more.

1918 aside, healthy young adults rarely die of the flu. It is the elderly, sick and very young who suffer most. Some young healthy adults even "heroically soldier on" at work or whatever to demonstrate their "grit and determination" to do the brave thing - risking even more other people's lives.

Last years vaccine was a little off target. But even the worst vaccine matches save lives.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DeepThinker Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 09 2018 at 7:14pm
The ratios you speak of re:vaccinated deaths vs non vaccinated deaths do you have any research to support that? The only reason I am skeptical of the flu vaccine is because of the complete dearth of clear cut easy to understand research showing effectiveness.

If you can back up your statement it would be a game changer for me and I would seriously reconsider my stance.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Technophobe Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 10 2018 at 3:34am
Believe me I can sympathise on that! It does not exist! The anti-vaccination sites simplify the data but do not understand it and then they play chinese whispers with their (mis)interpretations. The scientifically rigorous sites do not attempt to simplify the data in case they may occlude the tentative results.


So do I have sites to quote? Not ones I am happy with. That is why I rounded down my ratios- to err on the side of caution.

There are lots of sites posting and reposting a mixture of misunderstood statistics and falsifed data on this, so it takes a while to track any reliable stuff down (part of the reason for my rant on the dishonesty of the pro vaccination side). It takes even longer to integrate the results. So figures for this year are not available yet (or I just totally failed to find them).

As an attempt to illustrate the ratios: The CDC is reasonably scientifically rigorous, so this is a start: https://www.cdc.gov/flu/spotlights/children-flu-deaths.htm, it's pretty ancient (2013) and only covers pediatric deaths, but it does demonstrate the point that even on a bad year (2013 was about the same as 2017) the death rate is far higher in the unvaccinated. I hope it provides the answers you seek. It is the best I can access at present.

Of course it does not attempt to address the figures detailing those who, if their contacts had been vaccinated, never would have got the flu in the first place (that would raise the ratio hugely, but I can't calculate by exactly how much) and although there were roughly 10 times as many flu deaths in this cohort for the unvaccinated, the effective result ratio coud be as much as 2/3 lower as 3/4 of the population had used the vaccine that year https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm6337a1.htm so the quoted results of vaccinated deaths came from a cohort 1/3 the size of the cohort of unvaccinated. (1 death in 25,000 people is a higher CFR than one death in 75,000.) To confuse those results even further, there is a greater tendency to vaccinate the already sick, so the death rate in the smaller group could as easily be deflated as inflated.

Trying to find anyone else with both the courage of their convictions and the scientific rigor to demonstrate them is downright impossible.

https://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/878093 is another reliable one - but we are entering paid for peer reviewed journals here and I don't have the cash.

Older journal results are easier to access. But the problems are still there with collating and interpreting the statistics. https://academic.oup.com/aje/article/170/5/650/102527 is a case in point. I am stil struggling with the adjustment protocols the authors used. The article is almost as much about the difficulty of producing reliable data as it is about the findings! Just finding persons who are guaranteed vaccinated/unvaccinated post-mortem can be surprisingly hard. Asking grieving relatives is both cruel and uncertain. Care homes have records, but their residents already have many co-morbidities, giving the researchers less reliable data and yet more reasons to obfuscate.

As that last journal piece demonstrated, the reputable scientific community is reluctant to rely 100% on its own figures; it always assumes new data wil present itself, better collation methods will be found or that there is room for improvement in its methods of interpretation. This leads to understating the point (as I copied them in) over complicating the mathematical protocols followed and often an outright refusal to draw conclusions.

The pseudoscientific sites quoted by many anti-vaccinators are hindered by no such rigor.   So I can only come back to the CDC report. There is a mountain of data out there, but almost nothing I trust enough to quote.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote carbon20 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 10 2018 at 4:16am
Last years vaccine wasn't a fail,it was the fact another virus came out of "left field" a near perfect storm, I don't have a shot every year in fact I've only ever had two, as I get older I think i just don't want to go though another bad flu,ive had the REAL FLU 4 times in my life, I say real flu because most people only ever get a cold, the real flu knocks you out for a week or two and three or four weeks to get over ,

So may as well have a shot, but not every year,

But other vaccinations Im all for them......
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Technophobe Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 10 2018 at 5:58am
I think Carbon makes a valid point.

Our NHS offers free vaccinations every year to the most vulnerable. I 1/2 qualify. Some years I get no vaccine even if I beg; other years begging gets me one; last year they offered a jab without my begging and gave me a pneumonia jab too.

Some years a worse flu circulates than others.

If you are between 21 and 45, healthy and prepared to put in the effort to monitor the strains circulating, skipping the vaccine on milder-flu years could be beneficial. A good dose of the flu strengthens the immune system for ensuing years. Unpleasant in the extreme and unless you are in a position to isolate yourself for the duration, unethical, but potentially beneficial.

On a nasty flu year, even the partial protection of a near-miss vaccine may save your life; not to mention your hearing/long-term lung health and family!

To aid the calculation of when, I will let you know each year what the NHS thinks, as demonstrated by the ease-of-access of my own vaccinations. I trust the way they protect their budgets more than most published statistics.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DeepThinker Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 10 2018 at 10:54am
Technophobe... so this report said that 90% of flu deaths happened in the non vaccinated, but shows no data or how they got to that number. It doesn't show any reduction in illness rates or hospitalization rate.   Maybe if I take it at face value shows a reduced death rate from diagnosed flu. Maybe the vaccine just makes flu diagnosis less likely. Or maybe the vaccine makes it more likely to die of something else. I want to see a study that shows a lower mortality among the vaccinated not just a lower diagnosed flu mortality.

A longitudinal study would be so simple to do.   Just study three groups over a period of several years.   One group would be ones who always receive the vaccine one group who never receives and one group who occasionally receive.

I hate to repeat myself (but I will anyways lol).   If flu is as dangerous as they say, and the vaccine is as effective as they say it should be very easy to measure in the type of study that I suggested.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Technophobe Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 10 2018 at 12:47pm
Dream on.

As things stand, this study is about the most accurate you can get - and I agree, it is more full of holes than a swiss cheese.

As far as I am aware, the CDC bases its findings on national statistics. But the whole area is far too difficult to research accurately, unless of course you deliberately forced a number of people to vaccinate and prevented another from doing so. Even Joseph Mengele might find the ethics of that study a bit problematic.

Science rarely has definitive answers - at least until the question is "hoary with age". The ratio of vaccinated to unvaccinated deaths is no exception. On balance of probability, vaccination is a clear winner, but the jury is out on: "By how big a margin?" That question will probably not be answered until medical science has superceeded the jab with something else entirely. I value my life too highly to avoid the jab any year and don't have time to wait for a better option to appear.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote KiwiMum Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 10 2018 at 12:54pm
The thing that gets my goat is when the medical professionals call a vaccine and immunisation. This is a fallacy. A vaccine is just that, a vaccine, and in some people it gives immunity to an illness, but in some people a vaccine has no effect. So in order to say someone has been immunised against an illness, they have to be tested a week or so later to see if that vaccine has worked on them.

So, the point I'm trying to make here in a long winded way, is, even if the NHS succeed in bullying all their staff to have the flu jab, unless they are willing to test for immunity later, and if needs be give a second jab and then test again, there will be a percentage of their staff who will still spread the flu.

There is a nasty element of big brother about this apparent mandate.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DeepThinker Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 10 2018 at 3:17pm
"dream on" I have no idea what that comment was in reference to.   I don't see anything about methodology or how they got that number.   Maybe I am missing something.   Why don't they link the actual study?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Technophobe Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 10 2018 at 3:45pm
Really?

Just how would you approach that study?

How do you guarantee each subject group complies?
How do you control their exposure rate, type and level?
Almost all flu-deaths are from complications, how do you draw the line as to which is a flu death?

Major studies involve thousands of patients. How are you going to fund this? The government health bodies, epidemiologists, cytlogists, doctors and drug companies already think they have the answers.

What are you going to do regarding your own vaccination during this study? Why not allow your cohort members the freedom to chose for themselves - that includes changing their minds.

The proof you require is already available to the highest degree possible. Ok so that is still only 'on balance of probabilities', but it would be effectively impossible to do better.

'On balance of probabilities' the car you drive is safe, the Darwinian theory of evolution is sound and the sun will come up tomorrow.

I don't believe in a flat Earth, ancient aliens or faked moon landings even though I don't have direct access to the satellites showing the Earth as a globe, government top-secret files, or the reflectors left on the moon reflecting back the lasers which astronomical scientists train on them. But the balance of those probabilities have convinced me beyond reasonable doubt. I would love more proof. But I expect we must rely on the best science available.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote carbon20 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 10 2018 at 4:23pm
I'm pretty sure that in this day and age, with people wanting to sue at the drop of a hat, the NHS(gorra love it) has "Done the numbers" and its better to vaccinate than not to,

IE.you go to the ER catch the Flu from a doctor,go home give it to your wife and kids, they die you don't, you will sue the hospital,so for the sake of a couple of bucks the hospital saves millions in litigation....

Well maybe?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DeepThinker Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 10 2018 at 4:41pm
"Almost all flu-deaths are from complications"   See that is why you need to look at overall mortality and not just mortality from diagnosed flu patients.

My study suggestion wouldn't be perfect.   Yes some people may not comply and some may lie to researchers.   However if you have enough subjects for a long enough time that should disappear in the noise.

Here again the flu vaccine is supposed to have a very significant effect it should be easy to show.

Also carbon your example I find a bit silly... you can never prove where you where exposed to flu so there would never been any litigation. (only exception might be with a novel virus but then vaccination wouldn't be available anyways).
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote FluMom Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 10 2018 at 6:15pm
Hey all of you can argue all I want to know at over 65 should I take the Quadrivalent or the High Dose which has only three strains!!! Anyone have a view on that one.

I take the Flu Shot every year I have had Pneumonia too many times. Yes I have had the Pneumonia shot I still need the new one but have the old type.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote KiwiMum Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 10 2018 at 9:44pm
Flumom, have the newest vaccine which has the 4 strains and covers the latest Aussie flu. Here in NZ we are still seeing this terrible cold / flu like illness doing the rounds. And in each case it's taking 8 weeks to get over it and for the nasty deep cough to finally go.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote FluMom Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 10 2018 at 10:03pm
Great info I think I will go with the quad this year. I was sorry I did not last year did not get sick but I had a fear that I would get the one flu that was not covered in the tri high dose.   My doc does not think the high dose does any better than the regular. You gave me a good reason to go with the quad. Thanks!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DeepThinker Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 10 2018 at 10:06pm
Instead of just complaining let me propose a very simple alternate approach. I purpose all workers have their temps checked on the way into work. If a healthcare worker shows up to work and has a fever or any acute flu like symptoms any time during flu season they are sent home with a full days pay and have as long as needed to recover with no questions asked.    It should be a national policy.   A big part of this problem is that employers place unreasonable demands on workers many are afraid to call off even when they are legitimately sick.

Yes I know you can spread the illness even before you have symptoms and you have to watch out for asymptomatic carriers.   Those are tiny problems imo compared to the prevalence of healthcare workers actually working while in the midst of a significant illness. These people think they can can wear a dinky mask and gloves once in awhile and their patient is protected.... <sigh>
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