"It is very possible that PATERNAL AGE is the major predictor of(non-familial) autism." Harry Fisch, M.D., author "The Male Biological Clock". Sperm DNA mutates and autism, schizophrenia bipolar etc. results. What is the connection with autoimmune disorders? Having Type 1 diabetes, SLE,etc. in the family, also if mother had older father. NW Cryobank will not accept a sperm donor past 35th BD to minimize genetic abnormalities.VACCINATIONS also cause autism.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Nurses decry mandatory vaccine policy

Nurses decry mandatory vaccine policy
Updated: Friday, September 18, 2009 6:52 PM EDT

Two nurses who work at Glens Falls Hospital are speaking out about their dissatisfaction with a new state requirement that all health care workers receive flu vaccinations.

Their opposition to the requirement is backed by the New York State Nurses Association, a union with 37,000 members. The union supports flu vaccinations in general, including for health care workers, but opposes the state’s action that made them mandatory.

On Aug. 13, the state Department of Health issued an emergency regulation requiring flu shots for all health care workers, except those with medical conditions that could be made worse by the shots.

"It’s not about the shot," said Mary Homkey of Glens Falls, who has been working as a nurse for 20 years. "It’s about my rights as a person not to take medicine into my body that I don’t need."

Homkey said she has never gotten a flu shot and has never gotten the flu.

Her colleague at Glens Falls Hospital, Jill Litchfield, who has been working as a nurse for 25 years, said she had the flu once, when she was 20, and has gotten the vaccine just once in the past couple of decades.

"The flu shot is not the only weapon in the arsenal against the flu," Litchfield said.

Frequent hand-washing, use of masks and isolation — staying home when you’re sick — are other ways to avoid catching and spreading the flu.

Health care workers are currently being required to take the vaccine for seasonal flu, the virus that tends to spread in North America each winter. But when the H1N1 (swine flu) vaccine is approved, they will be required to get that shot, too.

"We sympathize with them," said Mark Genovese, a spokesman for the nurses union, about the two local nurses. "We absolutely oppose this as a requirement."

The union supports use of the vaccination, Genovese said, as long as it is voluntary.

"We do encourage health care workers to protect themselves," he said. "We recommend that they do get flu shots, but there are other protective measures they can take."

The two nurses said they do not blame the hospital, which must follow state regulations.

Glens Falls Hospital would never punish employees like Homkey and Litchfield for speaking out about such regulations, said Ray Agnew, a hospital spokesman. But the hospital must follow state law, he said, and puts a priority on patient safety.

"We want to protect our patients," he said.

The state already requires that health care workers prove immunity to measles and rubella — either by getting vaccinated or showing they’ve had the diseases — and requires an annual screening for tuberculosis.

Workers who refuse to get the vaccines could be reassigned to duties where they would not have direct contact with patients, rather than getting fired, according to Tom Allocco, a spokesman for the state Department of Health.

Looking for a choice

"You don’t have freedom of choice, it’s gone," said Homkey, about the vaccination requirement. "It’s government control."

Telling nurses they can comply or lose their jobs is not a real choice, Litchfield said.

"It’s our livelihood, and they sprung it on us," she said.

They pointed out that vaccines have some health risks, and that, the last time a swine flu vaccine was widely administered in the U.S., in 1976, it was associated with a higher incidence than normal of Guillain-Barre syndrome, an autoimmune disorder that can lead to muscle weakness and paralysis.

Litchfield and Homkey said they think the H1N1 vaccine has been insufficiently tested.

"It’s really scary," Litchfield said.

"I definitely don’t want to get the swine flu one," Homkey said. "If I get Guillan-Barre, who’s going to take care of my kids?"

Nurses incapacitated with an autoimmune disorder won’t be of much use to patients, she added.

The risk of contracting Guillan-Barre syndrome from current flu vaccinations would be no more than 1 or 2 cases per million people vaccinated, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control.

The two local nurses have spoken with state Sen. Elizabeth Little, who was sympathetic, they said.

Little, R-Queensbury, said she has spoken with Richard Daines, the state health commissioner, who emphasized that the vaccinations are meant to protect the health of patients.

"I can understand the motive," she said, of the vaccination requirement. "I think there should be an alternative, like face masks."

The nurses association has planned a Sept. 29 rally at the Capitol protesting the requirement.



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