Longwoods Blog

Early release, published at www.cmaj.ca on October 29, 2012. Subject to revision.

By Ken Flegel MDCM MSc

No right-thinking physician would ever knowingly harm a patient or fail to do some essential thing that
would result in harm to a patient. This principle of medical practice is enshrined in the Latin dictum primum non nocere (first, do no harm). But when 55%–65% of physicians fail to take the annual seasonal influenza vaccine,1 they are exposing their patients to the risk of death from influenza.2 In Canada, the annual rate of influenza infection averages 5%–10% of the population; about 20 000 hospital admissions result, and between 4000 and 8000 deaths are attributed to influenza.3 Each season, 20% of health care workers get influenza, and 28%–59% of young healthy adults who get it have asymptomatic or subclinical infections.
Some of them may shed virus up to a day before symptoms appear.4 It is time that all people who work in a health care institution be vaccinated. The benefits of vaccination in health care workers are clear.

Read the full article here

This entry was posted on Monday, October 29th, 2012 at 3:59 pm and is filed under Longwoods Online.