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To Be or Not to Be Vaccinated? The Ethical Aspects of Influenza Vaccination among Healthcare Workers.
Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2019 10 18; 16(20)IJ

Abstract

Influenza is a highly contagious airborne disease with a significant morbidity and mortality burden. Seasonal influenza (SI) vaccination has been recommended for healthcare workers (HCWs) for many years. Despite many efforts to encourage HCWs to be immunized against influenza, vaccination uptake remains suboptimal. Sometimes there is a significant sign of improvement, only if numerous measures are taken. Is 'the evidence' and 'rationale' sufficient enough to support mandatory influenza vaccination policies? Most voluntary policies to increase vaccination rates among HCWs have not been very effective. How to close the gap between desired and current vaccination rates? Whether (semi)mandatory policies are justified is an ethical issue. By means of a MEDLINE search, we synthesized the most relevant publications to try to answer these questions. Neither the 'clinical' Hippocratic ethics (the Georgetown Mantra: autonomy, beneficence, non-maleficence, and justice), nor the 'public health' ethics frameworks resolve the question completely. Therefore, recently the 'components of justice' framework was added to the ethical debate. Most options to increase the uptake arouse little ethical controversy, except mandatory policies. The success of vaccination will largely depend upon the way the ethical challenges like professional duty and ethics (deontology), self-determination, vaccine hesitance, and refusal ('conscientious objector') are dealt with.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Occupational Health Services-External Service for Prevention and Protection at Work, Opvoedingstraat 143, B-9000 Gent, Belgium. wim.vanhooste@mediwet.be.Occupational Health Services-External Service for Prevention and Protection at Work, Opvoedingstraat 143, B-9000 Gent, Belgium. micheline.bekaert@mediwet.be.

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article
Review

Language

eng

PubMed ID

31635299

Citation

Van Hooste, Wim Leo Celina, and Micheline Bekaert. "To Be or Not to Be Vaccinated? the Ethical Aspects of Influenza Vaccination Among Healthcare Workers." International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, vol. 16, no. 20, 2019.
Van Hooste WLC, Bekaert M. To Be or Not to Be Vaccinated? The Ethical Aspects of Influenza Vaccination among Healthcare Workers. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2019;16(20).
Van Hooste, W. L. C., & Bekaert, M. (2019). To Be or Not to Be Vaccinated? The Ethical Aspects of Influenza Vaccination among Healthcare Workers. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 16(20). https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16203981
Van Hooste WLC, Bekaert M. To Be or Not to Be Vaccinated? the Ethical Aspects of Influenza Vaccination Among Healthcare Workers. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2019 10 18;16(20) PubMed PMID: 31635299.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - To Be or Not to Be Vaccinated? The Ethical Aspects of Influenza Vaccination among Healthcare Workers. AU - Van Hooste,Wim Leo Celina, AU - Bekaert,Micheline, Y1 - 2019/10/18/ PY - 2019/08/25/received PY - 2019/10/12/revised PY - 2019/10/16/accepted PY - 2019/10/23/entrez PY - 2019/10/23/pubmed PY - 2020/2/27/medline KW - employees KW - ethics KW - flu KW - healthcare workers KW - immunization KW - influenza KW - mandate KW - occupational medicine KW - vaccination KW - workplace JF - International journal of environmental research and public health JO - Int J Environ Res Public Health VL - 16 IS - 20 N2 - Influenza is a highly contagious airborne disease with a significant morbidity and mortality burden. Seasonal influenza (SI) vaccination has been recommended for healthcare workers (HCWs) for many years. Despite many efforts to encourage HCWs to be immunized against influenza, vaccination uptake remains suboptimal. Sometimes there is a significant sign of improvement, only if numerous measures are taken. Is 'the evidence' and 'rationale' sufficient enough to support mandatory influenza vaccination policies? Most voluntary policies to increase vaccination rates among HCWs have not been very effective. How to close the gap between desired and current vaccination rates? Whether (semi)mandatory policies are justified is an ethical issue. By means of a MEDLINE search, we synthesized the most relevant publications to try to answer these questions. Neither the 'clinical' Hippocratic ethics (the Georgetown Mantra: autonomy, beneficence, non-maleficence, and justice), nor the 'public health' ethics frameworks resolve the question completely. Therefore, recently the 'components of justice' framework was added to the ethical debate. Most options to increase the uptake arouse little ethical controversy, except mandatory policies. The success of vaccination will largely depend upon the way the ethical challenges like professional duty and ethics (deontology), self-determination, vaccine hesitance, and refusal ('conscientious objector') are dealt with. SN - 1660-4601 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/31635299/To_Be_or_Not_to_Be_Vaccinated_The_Ethical_Aspects_of_Influenza_Vaccination_among_Healthcare_Workers_ L2 - http://www.mdpi.com/resolver?pii=ijerph16203981 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -