I recently declined the 2012 annual influenza vaccination when my employer offered to supply the injectable version. I was given a "Declination of Influenza Vaccine" form to complete. The first paragraph of this form states the following: "In accordance with CDC recommendations ... requires all its physicians and nurse practitioners to receive annual influenza vaccination unless the care provider has a recognized medical contraindication to receiving the vaccine." The form then lists the "recognized medical" contraindications. I, fortunately, do not suffer from one of these "recognized medical" contraindications. However, the form supplies a space to note an alternative "medical reason" to not receive the vaccine. I wrote as follows: taking adalimumab (Humira) for Crohn's disease. However, taking Humira for Crohn's disease IS NOT a contraindication to receiving the injectable form of the influenza vacation, but IS a contraindication to receiving the nasal spray version. I was gambling that the person or persons who would review my completed form would be unaware of this distinction. I was correct.
Unfortunately that was not the end of my saga. My completed form was faxed to all the local hospitals, which also require that physicians receive the annual influenza vaccination. All local hospitals, except one, accepted the form. The refusing hospital faxed me a different form demanding that one of my personal physicians, rather than me, verify that I have a "recognized medical contraindication" to the annual influenza vaccination. Of course, I could not produce such documentation, so I ultimately chose to receive this year's influenza vaccination rather than continue what would have been a futile fight which would have ultimately led to loss of my current job.
The LIBERTARIAN BIOETHICS BLOG opposes mandatory annual influenza vaccination of any person for any reason.