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My son's nurse is anti-vax


sassenach
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And I hate that this might come to a head with us.

She's a beautiful person, but for an LVN, she has a remarkably low understanding of germ theory and medical treatment.

She has a resistance to medication in general (for herself). Example, she has very high BP but will only take her med when she has physical manifestations (headache, SOB) but refuses to take it on an ongoing basis despite the risk of stroke and other complications. She was fully vaccinated as a child but now refuses them (she did not have any adverse events). At the same time, she has an incredibly fragile elderly mom and is literally scared to walk outside because she thinks the virus is everywhere. I would be comfortable with her taking ds for a walk but she thinks the virus is just floating in the air like a miasma.

So today with the vaccine press conference, she announces that there is no way she is getting the vaccine. Despite being paralyzed with fear of contracting the illness, she has no interest. On one hand, I totally support people making their own decisions when it comes to any vaccination. But not the other hand, she works INTIMATELY with my very fragile son. In theory, his vaccine should protect him. And she said that she would work with a mask (which she already is doing but she takes it off when she is just sitting in the room). 

I'm having a hard time with the thought of having to choose between allowing an unvaccinated person to work so close to ds or losing her.  She's the best nurse we've ever had. She takes such amazing care of him and that's not easy to find. And I do find it somewhat hypocritical that I would allow her to work right now, with no vaccine, but not then when ds will have some level of protection.

And of course this is all theoretical because it's not like we have a vaccine right now (or any laws around it). I welcome feedback on this!

 

Edited by sassenach
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It sounds like her own fear would mostly tend to make her fairly safe.

If she continues to wear mask etc, after vaccine is available (I presume one probably will be) I would keep her as an excellent nurse. 

Taking mask off “when just sitting in the room” would be a bigger concern to me in the event she is already an Asymptomatic carrier despite her caution.  

And she is probably more likely to become an Asymptomatic carrier who is dangerous to your son before a vaccination is available than after.

 

Has your son caught anything from her in past?

 

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Is she employed by an agency? If so, you need to ask that agency what their CV19 vaccination regulations for their employees are. That way, you can highlight your concerns about this employee as well as bring to their attention that there are such concerns and that they need to address them, if they have not thought about it so far.

Taking the mask off when doing nothing is dangerous to those around her and also transmits her germs to surfaces in your home 😞  I saw many costco employees wearing their mask like a chin covering on a really hot day last week and I took a minute to find their supervisor and lodge my protest before I left the store - because the whole point of the government requiring people to wear masks while in the company of others is to prevent the spread of droplets. 

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Yeah, I would consider her decisions and ignorance to NOT be taking good care of your son. She’s a danger to herself (not vaccinating, not taking obviously important medications, not educating herself—in the very field she works in) and your son. This would be a no brainier to me. Sorry. 😞 

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8 minutes ago, Ordinary Shoes said:

If she's anti-vax then she's not getting the flu shot either which increases the risk to your son during the flu season. 

You are correct. I don't know why but that has been less concerning for us. Probably just perceived risk. Ds, dh and I always get the flu shot and none of us have caught the flu when vaccinated. Not even the year that dd caught H1N1. So I guess I just really trust the flu shot?

 

7 minutes ago, Pen said:

It sounds like her own fear would mostly tend to make her fairly safe.

If she continues to wear mask etc, after vaccine is available (I presume one probably will be) I would keep her as an excellent nurse. 

Taking mask off “when just sitting in the room” would be a bigger concern to me in the event she is already an Asymptomatic carrier despite her caution.  

And she is probably more likely to become an Asymptomatic carrier who is dangerous to your son before a vaccination is available than after.

 

Has your son caught anything from her in past?

 

Those are good thoughts. No, he hasn't caught anything from her. He has mostly caught things from the family. She's caught a few things from him/us.

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4 minutes ago, MEmama said:

Yeah, I would consider her decisions and ignorance to NOT be taking good care of your son. She’s a danger to herself (not vaccinating, not taking obviously important medications, not educating herself—in the very field she works in) and your son. This would be a no brainier to me. Sorry. 😞 

I hear you. But I'm also going to assume based on that comment that you've never had to hire home health care. It's not that simple.

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10 minutes ago, mathnerd said:

Is she employed by an agency? If so, you need to ask that agency what their CV19 vaccination regulations for their employees are. That way, you can highlight your concerns about this employee as well as bring to their attention that there are such concerns and that they need to address them, if they have not thought about it so far.

Taking the mask off when doing nothing is dangerous to those around her and also transmits her germs to surfaces in your home 😞  I saw many costco employees wearing their mask like a chin covering on a really hot day last week and I took a minute to find their supervisor and lodge my protest before I left the store - because the whole point of the government requiring people to wear masks while in the company of others is to prevent the spread of droplets. 

I do wonder if this will be a moot point as far as me being the gatekeeper. My guess is that her agency and/or the state will end up mandating that healthcare workers get the vax. She is pretty concerned about that, which is how the conversation got started.

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6 minutes ago, Dreamergal said:

It is coming to a head with me too.

Two months ago if you had asked me my stance on a vaccine, I would say I absolutely believe in a vaccine 100%. I come from a country where vaccination is mandated by the government, they go door to door, even tribals who are exposed to people from others are vaccinated. It absolutely works on a large scale. I've seen it happen in the eradication of polio, TB and even leprosy as a side effect of the BCG vaccine. I am heavily vaccinated and so are my DH and children. I absolutely 100% believe in the efficacy of a vaccine. I will need the COVID vaccine to get on a plane to see my parents as it is a 20 plus hour trip one way.

But I will absolutely wait for a proven vaccine and the speed at which it is developed makes me paranoid because of what I know about a vaccine itself.

Even vaccines like BCG which are a 100 years old, have been administered in the millions are still affecting people with side effects. There is a form of polio called a vaccine polio which can be caused by the polio virus itself mostly in the case of children with malnutrition. So for me, a vaccine, any vaccine must be tested. 8 months is not a responsible timeline for any vaccine for me. Guilliane-Barre syndrome (a form of paralysis) was one of the side effects of the old SARS vaccine. It is even now one of the side effects of the flu vaccine. Not saying anything like this to be fear mongering, but a vaccine can be deadly too and a not too tested, rushed vaccine is scary to me.

A vaccine is still the best bet against disease prevention, it absolutely saves lives, increases quality of life in cases where disease in rampant, great in increasing standard of public health. But on the flip side, I will only be comfortable taking a vaccine 12 months after it first comes out even it will mean I cannot get on a plane before that. 

Yes, I've had all of those same thoughts. I can see several different scenarios for our family. We don't have much to lose with ds, so he'll definitely get it. I think likely dh and I will too. My teens we will wait on if at all possible.

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8 minutes ago, sassenach said:

Those are good thoughts. No, he hasn't caught anything from her. He has mostly caught things from the family. She's caught a few things from him/us.

 

I think her decisions regarding her own health—bp etc are hers to make unless you think it significantly endangers your son.

I also am inclined to think that if your family gets vaccinated whether she does or does not is her choice.  

And while she might be an Asymptomatic carrier and exposing your family, the reverse is just as possible. Your family could be exposing her.

 

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10 minutes ago, Dreamergal said:

More than not taking the COVID vaccine, what bothers me is she seems to be anti-medication and that she is not taking BP medication. That is a hard line for me because I question people like that who are in the medical field taking care of my family. These are the questions I ask my doctor for instance because I am all for healthy living and exercise, but also medication

Yeah, there's a ton of people in the medical field whose roles require much less health literacy than RNs. They are generally supervised under an RN's license. She's a fantastic LVN but would make a terrible RN. 

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2 minutes ago, Dotwithaperiod said:

That’s a tough one. She sounds lovely, but also highly ignorant. As others have said, I’d check to see if her agency requires testing. Then I’d try to help her understand that being anti-vaccine is “ok” to many, but taking her bp meds only when she feels bad is totally insane and she’s now even more prone to having a stroke. 

I understand the troubles of finding decent health care. My own MIL hated everyone who tried to help her, picked them to pieces. Listening to her kids chime in in agreement made me want to remind them of her own crappy behavior as a nursing home worker. She was loving and helpful to the patients, but she told us once that it drove her nuts to keep track of meds. Exact words-  What’s the difference if I give them 2 or 3 pills at once or one pill 2 or 3 times a day, they’re still getting the same dose of pills?

Oh my gosh.

Yeah, that's actually one of the qualities that makes her better than other LVNs we have had- she is a total stickler for following orders. We've had some  laissez faire workers in the past and that's even scarier. 

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8 minutes ago, StellaM said:

 

If she's a stickler for orders, and you don't want to lose her, can you get ds' doctor to write a note that all hc workers coming into contact with him must be up to date on their vaccinations? 

 

I don t know that would be a way to not lose her. Maybe. Maybe not. 

 

She already may be trying to weigh and balance her current job with sassenach versus staying more safely (for herself and her own family) at home as much, or perhaps even more than Sassenach is trying to weigh having her work with the son or not.

 Perhaps a bit like you and teaching job. 

I would not be surprised if putting an added requirement on her that she has to get vaccinated for whatever Sassenach might want could end up being a last straw where she’d rather stay home entirely or find a client who is less imposing of their own vaccination demands.  

“Up to date” may include a number of vaccinations that would make no likely difference to Sassenach’s son. 

Personally I would not make any such demand unless I felt it was a hill to die on so to speak.  Good nurses are hard to find. 

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29 minutes ago, sassenach said:

Oh my gosh.

Yeah, that's actually one of the qualities that makes her better than other LVNs we have had- she is a total stickler for following orders. We've had some  laissez faire workers in the past and that's even scarier. 

Like the others, I'm surprised she's able to get away without at least a flu shot. I thought that was required for all health care workers. It would be disheartening if she's being dishonest with her employer and saying she has gotten it when she hasn't. It also sounds like she is not the sharpest tack in the box and has some untreated anxiety leading to her ill thought out choices. 

As long as she is performing her job adequately and being honest with her employer, I wouldn't worry about it. However I would feel free to tell her if her topics of conversation *distress* you and should be avoided. I've had workers and professionals with my ds that I disagreed with about this or that. And it was a wide range of topics. They'd bring it up, almost as a feeler. So you make it politely clear that's not the direction you want to go with conversation.

To me, it's business. I don't have to agree with you. I pay, you provide service. As long as I get the service I need, we don't need to talk about tangential stuff. If you don't like hearing about her health problems or think they distress your ds, tell her. She's probably not getting paid a lot, but she's getting paid to show up and be cheerful and do her job.

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2 hours ago, sassenach said:

And I do find it somewhat hypocritical that I would allow her to work right now, with no vaccine, but not then when ds will have some level of protection.

Her employer may solve that problem for you. And if she's been lying about taking a flu vaccine (which I'm shocked was not required), she may lose her job.

2 hours ago, sassenach said:

she takes it off when she is just sitting in the room). 

Seriously??? Is this fitting her employeer's expectation/policies? That seems WAY more immediately harmful to your ds and risky than whether she might or might take a vaccine years from now. 

My father is in assisted living, and those blessed workers are wearing their masks ALL DAY LONG to keep our family safe. That's the whole point, to keep your kid safe.

Maybe she could be talked with to work out some compromise for her comfort? Like maybe she gets 15 minute breaks every so often outside with no mask? 

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She does seem a little bit ignorant, but I don't think I would get rid of her on the basis of not having a flu shot. If you/your family get the flu shot, then you should be protected, right? And, the COVID 19 vaccination is still in the future, so it isn't as though she is causing any more risk than any other hcp right now. I have never had a flu shot, nor have I ever had the flu, and I doubt I would get the COVID 19 vaccination for a variety of reasons. It frustrates me to hear some people on this board call me selfish for not getting a flu vaccination. It seems like getting/not getting a flu vaccine is a personal choice. I am not anti-vax per se -- my family is vaccinated for all the childhood diseases, I just don't see a need to get a flu vaccine every year.

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Quote

There is a form of polio called a vaccine polio which can be caused by the polio virus itself mostly in the case of children with malnutrition.

 

This is not a risk in the US, because we no longer use a live vaccine. It's only a risk in places where they still use the live vaccine - usually because it's easier to administer and, because it does create a low-level illness, caregivers can become immune with their children. You cannot get a disease from a dead virus, and you cannot get a disease from a vaccination that uses the dead virus.

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15 minutes ago, PeterPan said:

Like the others, I'm surprised she's able to get away without at least a flu shot. I thought that was required for all health care workers.

 

CDC recommends. Does not require.

Some hospitals etc do require it.  

 

 

 

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10 minutes ago, Martha in GA said:

She does seem a little bit ignorant, but I don't think I would get rid of her on the basis of not having a flu shot. If you/your family get the flu shot, then you should be protected, right? And, the COVID 19 vaccination is still in the future, so it isn't as though she is causing any more risk than any other hcp right now. I have never had a flu shot, nor have I ever had the flu, and I doubt I would get the COVID 19 vaccination for a variety of reasons. It frustrates me to hear some people on this board call me selfish for not getting a flu vaccination. It seems like getting/not getting a flu vaccine is a personal choice. I am not anti-vax per se -- my family is vaccinated for all the childhood diseases, I just don't see a need to get a flu vaccine every year.

 

I would apply same approach to CV19 vaccination.  

If family, including son, get vaccinated when available and vaccination works they, including son,  should be safe at that point. 

 

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Re taking off mask: 

18 minutes ago, PeterPan said:

That seems WAY more immediately harmful to your ds and risky than whether she might or might take a vaccine years from now. 

My father is in assisted living, and those blessed workers are wearing their masks ALL DAY LONG to keep our family safe. That's the whole point, to keep your kid safe.

Maybe she could be talked with to work out some compromise for her comfort? Like maybe she gets 15 minute breaks every so often outside with no mask? 

 

I agree. 

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1 hour ago, StellaM said:

 

If she's a stickler for orders, and you don't want to lose her, can you get ds' doctor to write a note that all hc workers coming into contact with him must be up to date on their vaccinations? 

That's not how orders work. But I get where you're going with this. She mentioned quitting healthcare if it's mandated so we might lose her anyways.

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1 hour ago, PeterPan said:

Like the others, I'm surprised she's able to get away without at least a flu shot. I thought that was required for all health care workers. It would be disheartening if she's being dishonest with her employer and saying she has gotten it when she hasn't. It also sounds like she is not the sharpest tack in the box and has some untreated anxiety leading to her ill thought out choices. 

As long as she is performing her job adequately and being honest with her employer, I wouldn't worry about it. However I would feel free to tell her if her topics of conversation *distress* you and should be avoided. I've had workers and professionals with my ds that I disagreed with about this or that. And it was a wide range of topics. They'd bring it up, almost as a feeler. So you make it politely clear that's not the direction you want to go with conversation.

To me, it's business. I don't have to agree with you. I pay, you provide service. As long as I get the service I need, we don't need to talk about tangential stuff. If you don't like hearing about her health problems or think they distress your ds, tell her. She's probably not getting paid a lot, but she's getting paid to show up and be cheerful and do her job.

She's not being dishonest. Flu shot requirements vary by employer.

1 hour ago, CuriousMomof3 said:

Exactly.  Someone who is good with your kid, and you trust, and your kid trusts?  That's gold.  In my area, it's very hard to find people.

Is she full time with you, or is she seeing other patients too?  If she's full time, and otherwise taking precautions, I think I would feel a little better.  

She's full time with us.

24 minutes ago, CuriousMomof3 said:

I have no idea what @sassenach's son's issues are, but my medically fragile kid doesn't have a normal immune response, so while he gets the flu vaccine, in case it helps a little, he's not protected by it.  He needs the people around him to have it, because that's what protects him. 

 

My kiddo has no immune issues

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58 minutes ago, PeterPan said:

Her employer may solve that problem for you. And if she's been lying about taking a flu vaccine (which I'm shocked was not required), she may lose her job.

Seriously??? Is this fitting her employeer's expectation/policies? That seems WAY more immediately harmful to your ds and risky than whether she might or might take a vaccine years from now. 

My father is in assisted living, and those blessed workers are wearing their masks ALL DAY LONG to keep our family safe. That's the whole point, to keep your kid safe.

Maybe she could be talked with to work out some compromise for her comfort? Like maybe she gets 15 minute breaks every so often outside with no mask? 

She is not required to wear the mask by the agency. I have asked her to and I did that when we thought transmission was droplet only so I was ok with her taking it off when not interacting with ds. So that's on me to adjust.

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1 hour ago, PeterPan said:

Like the others, I'm surprised she's able to get away without at least a flu shot. I thought that was required for all health care workers. It would be disheartening if she's being dishonest with her employer and saying she has gotten it when she hasn't. It also sounds like she is not the sharpest tack in the box and has some untreated anxiety leading to her ill thought out choices. 

As long as she is performing her job adequately and being honest with her employer, I wouldn't worry about it. However I would feel free to tell her if her topics of conversation *distress* you and should be avoided. I've had workers and professionals with my ds that I disagreed with about this or that. And it was a wide range of topics. They'd bring it up, almost as a feeler. So you make it politely clear that's not the direction you want to go with conversation.

To me, it's business. I don't have to agree with you. I pay, you provide service. As long as I get the service I need, we don't need to talk about tangential stuff. If you don't like hearing about her health problems or think they distress your ds, tell her. She's probably not getting paid a lot, but she's getting paid to show up and be cheerful and do her job.

You kind of jumped to a lot of conclusions here. I never said any of that.

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She might change her mind if a safe, tested vaccine becomes available.  Also, she might get it for your son if you ask her to at that point.  People say all kinds of things and then often walk them back.

I certainly would not let this affect her employment now.  It's not like her opinion makes a difference to your son's health right now.

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3 hours ago, Dreamergal said:

It is coming to a head with me too.

Two months ago if you had asked me my stance on a vaccine, I would say I absolutely believe in a vaccine 100%. I come from a country where vaccination is mandated by the government, they go door to door, even tribals who are exposed to people from outside are vaccinated. It absolutely works on a large scale. I've seen it happen in the eradication of polio, TB and even leprosy as a side effect of the BCG vaccine. I am heavily vaccinated and so are my DH and children. I absolutely 100% believe in the efficacy of a vaccine. I will need the COVID vaccine to get on a plane to see my parents as it is a 20 plus hour trip one way.

But I will absolutely wait for a proven vaccine and the speed at which it is developed makes me paranoid because of what I know about a vaccine itself.

Even vaccines like BCG which are a 100 years old, have been administered in the millions are still affecting people with side effects. There is a form of polio called a vaccine polio which can be caused by the polio virus itself mostly in the case of children with malnutrition. So for me, a vaccine, any vaccine must be tested. 8 months is not a responsible timeline for any vaccine for me. Guilliane-Barre syndrome (a form of paralysis) was one of the side effects of the old SARS vaccine. It is even now one of the side effects of the flu vaccine. Not saying anything like this to be fear mongering, but a vaccine can be deadly too and a not too tested, rushed vaccine is scary to me.

A vaccine is still the best bet against disease prevention, it absolutely saves lives, increases quality of life in cases where disease in rampant, great in increasing standard of public health. But on the flip side, I will only be comfortable taking a vaccine 12 months after it first comes out even it will mean I cannot get on a plane before that. 

Yes, polio vaccines with live polio virus can cause that, it is a known thing, and why in this country we use a different type of the vaccine. But ,a killed virus vaccine is less effective, requires more boosters, etc as a general rule, which is one reason other places use the live one. So if this vaccine is not a live vaccine, which it will not be, that is not a risk. 

Regarding other side effects, sure. Anything can have side effects. It comes down to - how likely are the side effects and how serious are they compared to how likely are you to catch Covid 19, and how serious is that likely to be. 

If the side effects are very rare, but the disease is, at that time, rampant, that will be a different decision than if the side effects were super common and the disease very rare. 

Also, for what it is worth, it seems you can get Guillane barr from diseases, not just from vaccinations. 

 

46 minutes ago, CuriousMomof3 said:

I have no idea what @sassenach's son's issues are, but my medically fragile kid doesn't have a normal immune response, so while he gets the flu vaccine, in case it helps a little, he's not protected by it.  He needs the people around him to have it, because that's what protects him. 

 

Very true. Even the elderly, etc often have a poor response, compared to the younger, healthier population. One of the reasons it helps for everyone to be vaccinated. 

8 minutes ago, SKL said:

She might change her mind if a safe, tested vaccine becomes available.  Also, she might get it for your son if you ask her to at that point.  People say all kinds of things and then often walk them back.

I certainly would not let this affect her employment now.  It's not like her opinion makes a difference to your son's health right now.

Very true. If there are hundreds of thousands of deaths at that point, or she knows people that have become very ill or died, that may change her mind. 

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7 minutes ago, SKL said:

PS how is her vitamin D level?  I think there is evidence that general health is at least as preventive as a vax may be for the general population.  And that's something people can address today.

I'm making everyone take supplements based on Dr. Hive's recommendation!

ETA: I have no idea what hers is

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5 minutes ago, SKL said:

PS how is her vitamin D level?  I think there is evidence that general health is at least as preventive as a vax may be for the general population.  And that's something people can address today.

Link? I've seen D levels correlated with death and severity to some extent but not enough to say that being healthy prevents Covid 19. I mean, there are certainly very healthy people who are getting very ill and even dying from it. 

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18 minutes ago, sassenach said:

I'm making everyone take supplements based on Dr. Hive's recommendation!

ETA: I have no idea what hers is

 

She might be more open to hearing about things like vitamin D.  

If so you might also mention co-factors and the other vitamins that go with it— things like magnesium and K2 (which, btw, may also affect blood pressure, such that high blood pressure might tend to correlate with low D, K, and magnesium ... perhaps especially so if her skin tones are darker making it harder for just sunlight to help her to make enough.  And I don’t recall how far south you are where just latitude might make for low D. But also it sounds like from what you said about her fear of going out, that she’s mainly inside, not in sunshine no matter the latitude .)

at same time, NAC might be helpful in a physical way and as an anxiety reducer

as might be some zinc with zinc ionophore if she is low zinc

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2 hours ago, Dreamergal said:

 

ETA: I will also say I have always marveled that vaccines are not mandatory in America and a choice. It is at times like these I am glad I have that choice.

they are mandatory for many things - but there are "exceptions".  My own state moved to close the "looser exceptions' after the measles outbreak last year.

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52 minutes ago, sassenach said:

She is not required to wear the mask by the agency. I have asked her to and I did that when we thought transmission was droplet only so I was ok with her taking it off when not interacting with ds. So that's on me to adjust.

 

If you mention aerosols and she’s already freaked by a miasma like idea that might make it worse.

 

Her anxiety, high blood pressure,  etc might themselves suggest low D, low mag, low acetylcysteine and or glutathione (or supplement NAC), and if she’d be open to hearing about nutrition/ supplements, perhaps fresh air and sunshine, that might help as much as or more than continual mask use.  

And might not freak her out to where she’s afraid to venture out at all. 

 

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27 minutes ago, Dreamergal said:

I agree. But my biggest fear is it is being rushed and if you ask questions or hesitate you will be branded "anti-vax"

I found this article in NY times yesterday a paper I immensely respect enough to subscribe and it is the only paper I do so. It pissed me off because of it's tone.

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/05/13/technology/coronavirus-vaccine-disinformation.html

Relevant portion

First, because of the pandemic’s urgency, any promising Covid-19 vaccine is likely to be fast-tracked through the testing and approval process. It may not go through years of clinical trials and careful studies of possible long-term side effects, the way other drugs do. That could create an opening for anti-vaccine activists to claim that it is untested and dangerous, and to spin reasonable concerns about the vaccine into widespread, unfounded fears about its safety.

The concern is not only among anti-vaxxers, even people who are pro-vaccine are concerned about side effects. So while I want to wait on a COVID vaccine before looking at clinical trials and studies for 12 months and do responsible things,  there might be a danger of me being branded "anti-vax" 🙄 something I thought will never happen to me as I am very much pro-vaccine just give me more information.🤷‍♀️

COVID makes me examine all my previously held notions of line in the sand I will say.

What keeps me not so worried about that, is that they are not coming up wiht this idea from scratch. The components will be things we have used before, and the tech they are using are ideas we have used before. 

So if it uses, say, the same adjuvant as a lot of other vaccines, plus the recombinant DNA techniques we use in other vaccines from cats to humans, that's not some crazy chemical cocktail we have no idea about regarding safety. It's not like a drug, where there is some brand new chemical being introduced. Still needs to be as safe as we can make it, but I'm less worried about this aspect. 

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I agree with those who said that we do not have a vaccine yet...we don’t know if we will, how long it will take, etc.  It’s a decision for another day.  I was thinking about this on my walk this evening about your nurse not taking her high blood pressure medicine.  Do you have any feel for what her financial situation is?  It is quite possible given the low pay that many home health care workers receive that she really can’t afford her medicine and is saving it for when she has symptoms, but doesn’t really want to admit it.  Do you know if she has health insurance?  A doctor that she visits?   She sounds like a lady that works well with your son, is dependable, takes good care of your son, and doesn’t appear to be engaging in (covid spreading) risky behavior in her time outside your house.  It seems like it would be a shame to lose her.

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12 minutes ago, Dreamergal said:

I need to educate myself more of how a vaccine is formulated though I have a base idea. I know about vaccines, lot about how some vaccines work and side effects etc. But I have no clue how it is formulated beyond a basic level. I have basic questions like will formulae be different in different countries  which I have never really wondered about. 

The bolded part is reassuring because I was wondering if they would make it from ground up or piggyback on existing vaccines. I would be absolutely ok with things that are already used. More than the safety of the vaccine, I am more afraid of the people who may rush it. More than the vaccine it is the people itself who will not test it as thoroughly as it can be because they want everything back to "normal" ASAP is what worries me the most.

There have been attempts to create a coronavirus vaccine in the past and it caused immune enhancement -- meaning a small percentage of people who were vaccinated got really sick when exposed to the actual virus. There is not a successful coronavirus vaccine on the market. So even if they use elements from other successful vaccines, a lot of this is new. Which is why it really concerns me that it is being fast-tracked and they are skipping animal trials. 

Even more concerning is the fact that vaccine manufacturers have already been freed from liability should their fast-tracked vaccines turn out to be problematic and cause injury or death to some people. I understand why the government has done this given this worldwide pandemic-- they want a vaccine available and they want it fast -- but I fear it will not compel vaccine manufacturers to make the safest product possible. 

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38 minutes ago, Mom2mthj said:

I agree with those who said that we do not have a vaccine yet...we don’t know if we will, how long it will take, etc.  It’s a decision for another day.  I was thinking about this on my walk this evening about your nurse not taking her high blood pressure medicine.  Do you have any feel for what her financial situation is?  It is quite possible given the low pay that many home health care workers receive that she really can’t afford her medicine and is saving it for when she has symptoms, but doesn’t really want to admit it.  Do you know if she has health insurance?  A doctor that she visits?   She sounds like a lady that works well with your son, is dependable, takes good care of your son, and doesn’t appear to be engaging in (covid spreading) risky behavior in her time outside your house.  It seems like it would be a shame to lose her.

She has coverage and the ability to pay. It’s a very cultural choice. Idk if it’s because she is Russian or if it’s just her FOO but she (and her family in general) refuse to take any med out of distrust for what meds do to the body. Her mom only takes her beta blocker because she’s landed in the ER with a fib multiple times but apparently she has an almost non-functional thyroid and refuses to take that med. I don’t know how to explain it other than it being a deep seeded belief that artificial things put into the body cause more harm than good. 

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Just now, StellaM said:

 

This is an odd mindset for a nurse.

I know! I was thinking through why she’s a good nurse even with this quirk and she’s like having a really good second mom around. A person can be a great mom even with a low health IQ. Her primary concern is ds’s comfort and welfare. She’s great at assessing how he feels and what his needs are. She keeps his schedule to a T and administers every med as prescribed. He’s pampered by her. 
 

What she’s not good at are the things that are outside of her domain anyway. She calls her supervising RN and myself liberally about anything outside of the norm. 

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5 hours ago, PeterPan said:

Like the others, I'm surprised she's able to get away without at least a flu shot. I thought that was required for all health care workers.

 

In my area, it cannot be required (yet), however,  they can make work conditions uncomfortable by mandating several things for those who do not have the flu shot.

Generally - not in reply to your post:  I would hesitate to call people ignorant for not taking the flu shot. Some are allergic to the substrate in which the serum is stored.

Edited by Liz CA
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1 hour ago, Dreamergal said:

Thank you for articulating better my fears. I keep an eye on vaccines in my native country too and the speed is what is concerning. Something like this is not at all reassuring.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-india-vaccine/indias-serum-institute-to-make-millions-of-potential-coronavirus-vaccine-doses-idUSKCN22A2YY

India is one of the biggest exporters of vaccines and starting to manufacture already is a red flag, enterprise flashing red alert as I say. I just want to be a hermit sometimes on some remote mountaintop deep in the Himalayas. 😒

 

Even if a company got a vaccine to market in the next 6 months, you probably will have to wait to get it.  No one company has the production capability to make 7+ billion doses of vaccine quickly.  You are likely to have to wait a year or more to receive a vaccine due to production limits.  By the time it is available to you, there will be a lot of data on how real live people have responded to it.   

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On 5/15/2020 at 3:57 PM, sassenach said:

And I hate that this might come to a head with us.

She's a beautiful person, but for an LVN, she has a remarkably low understanding of germ theory and medical treatment.

She has a resistance to medication in general (for herself). Example, she has very high BP but will only take her med when she has physical manifestations (headache, SOB) but refuses to take it on an ongoing basis despite the risk of stroke and other complications. She was fully vaccinated as a child but now refuses them (she did not have any adverse events). At the same time, she has an incredibly fragile elderly mom and is literally scared to walk outside because she thinks the virus is everywhere. I would be comfortable with her taking ds for a walk but she thinks the virus is just floating in the air like a miasma.

So today with the vaccine press conference, she announces that there is no way she is getting the vaccine. Despite being paralyzed with fear of contracting the illness, she has no interest. On one hand, I totally support people making their own decisions when it comes to any vaccination. But not the other hand, she works INTIMATELY with my very fragile son. In theory, his vaccine should protect him. And she said that she would work with a mask (which she already is doing but she takes it off when she is just sitting in the room). 

I'm having a hard time with the thought of having to choose between allowing an unvaccinated person to work so close to ds or losing her.  She's the best nurse we've ever had. She takes such amazing care of him and that's not easy to find. And I do find it somewhat hypocritical that I would allow her to work right now, with no vaccine, but not then when ds will have some level of protection.

And of course this is all theoretical because it's not like we have a vaccine right now (or any laws around it). I welcome feedback on this!

 

At the moment, her vaccine status shouldn't really come into play.  Might resolve itself before you need to worry about it.  At least, I hope it will.

 

On 5/15/2020 at 7:54 PM, Dreamergal said:

I agree. But my biggest fear is it is being rushed and if you ask questions or hesitate you will be branded "anti-vax"

I found this article in NY times yesterday a paper I immensely respect enough to subscribe and it is the only paper I do so. It pissed me off because of it's tone.

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/05/13/technology/coronavirus-vaccine-disinformation.html

Relevant portion

First, because of the pandemic’s urgency, any promising Covid-19 vaccine is likely to be fast-tracked through the testing and approval process. It may not go through years of clinical trials and careful studies of possible long-term side effects, the way other drugs do. That could create an opening for anti-vaccine activists to claim that it is untested and dangerous, and to spin reasonable concerns about the vaccine into widespread, unfounded fears about its safety.

The concern is not only among anti-vaxxers, even people who are pro-vaccine are concerned about side effects. So while I want to wait on a COVID vaccine before looking at clinical trials and studies for 12 months and do responsible things,  there might be a danger of me being branded "anti-vax" 🙄 something I thought will never happen to me as I am very much pro-vaccine just give me more information.🤷‍♀️

COVID makes me examine all my previously held notions of line in the sand I will say.

I am very pro-vaccine and would love to see a coronavirus vaccine.  As an older fat person, I am at heightened risk if I catch covid and would benefit from the vaccine.  But I will not get it until it has been tested (either formally or in other guinea pigs' arms for a few years, at least).  I am not interested in becoming a victim of another Swine Flu vaccine boondoggle.

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3 hours ago, DesertBlossom said:

There have been attempts to create a coronavirus vaccine in the past and it caused immune enhancement -- meaning a small percentage of people who were vaccinated got really sick when exposed to the actual virus. There is not a successful coronavirus vaccine on the market. So even if they use elements from other successful vaccines, a lot of this is new. Which is why it really concerns me that it is being fast-tracked and they are skipping animal trials. 

Even more concerning is the fact that vaccine manufacturers have already been freed from liability should their fast-tracked vaccines turn out to be problematic and cause injury or death to some people. I understand why the government has done this given this worldwide pandemic-- they want a vaccine available and they want it fast -- but I fear it will not compel vaccine manufacturers to make the safest product possible. 

I worked in QC for a very large and well known vaccine company in the 90s; you would recognize the company and vaccine immediately.  The shoddy QC standards that were not just careless, but negligent, were mind-boggling.  Vaccine that did not pass QC (but did not outright fail, either) was passed along to my supervisor to sign after I refused (yes, he signed off on it).  So people are absolutely right to be wary of vaccines, they are just wary for the wrong reasons because they think the vax science is dangerous, rather than the actual production plant or QC standards, which are the real issue.  I am very pro-vax, but I will not take any vax for my kids or myself unless there are at least 5 years' worth of safety and efficacy data available.

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I worked in QC for a very large and well known vaccine company in the 90s; you would recognize the company and vaccine immediately.  The shoddy QC standards that were not just careless, but negligent, were mind-boggling.  Vaccine that did not pass QC (but did not outright fail, either) was passed along to my supervisor to sign after I refused (yes, he signed off on it).  So people are absolutely right to be wary of vaccines, they are just wary for the wrong reasons because they think the vax science is dangerous, rather than the actual production plant or QC standards, which are the real issue.  I am very pro-vax, but I will not take any vax for my kids or myself unless there are at least 5 years' worth of safety and efficacy data available.

How can 5 years' worth of safety and efficacy data make you more confident in a vaccine if there are QC issues? Maybe you would end up being injected with a vaccine that hadn't truly passed QC -- you could be one of the "unlucky" few who get that batch? I know you said the vaccine hadn't outright failed, but doesn't it worry you? If it was happening where you worked, then other places likely have similar problems...

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10 hours ago, Dreamergal said:

More than the vaccine it is the people itself who will not test it as thoroughly as it can be because they want everything back to "normal" ASAP is what worries me the most.

The scientists working on this are in my understanding not the ones who want "norma" asap. 

10 hours ago, CuriousMomof3 said:

I know someone who was working on a vaccine for another disease, and their team pivoted to use the same approach and focus on covid.  So, there was already research done that they could build on.  

Yes. 

10 hours ago, DesertBlossom said:

There have been attempts to create a coronavirus vaccine in the past and it caused immune enhancement -- meaning a small percentage of people who were vaccinated got really sick when exposed to the actual virus. There is not a successful coronavirus vaccine on the market. So even if they use elements from other successful vaccines, a lot of this is new. Which is why it really concerns me that it is being fast-tracked and they are skipping animal trials. 

Even more concerning is the fact that vaccine manufacturers have already been freed from liability should their fast-tracked vaccines turn out to be problematic and cause injury or death to some people. I understand why the government has done this given this worldwide pandemic-- they want a vaccine available and they want it fast -- but I fear it will not compel vaccine manufacturers to make the safest product possible. 

I wonder about this, but it seems they are aware of and addressing these issues. This article touches on how at least one place is working to avoid that. https://www.nature.com/articles/s41577-020-0323-4

10 hours ago, Dreamergal said:

Thank you for articulating better my fears. I keep an eye on vaccines in my native country too and the speed is what is concerning. Something like this is not at all reassuring.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-india-vaccine/indias-serum-institute-to-make-millions-of-potential-coronavirus-vaccine-doses-idUSKCN22A2YY

India is one of the biggest exporters of vaccines and starting to manufacture already is a red flag, enterprise flashing red alert as I say. I just want to be a hermit sometimes on some remote mountaintop deep in the Himalayas. 😒

A lot of places are doing that - the idea is to be producing now, so that if it does work and get the green light, it is ready to go. If it doesn't, these companies will take a hit. But they don't decide if the vaccine is approved or not. 

7 hours ago, Reefgazer said:

At the moment, her vaccine status shouldn't reall

 

I am very pro-vaccine and would love to see a coronavirus vaccine.  As an older fat person, I am at heightened risk if I catch covid and would benefit from the vaccine.  But I will not get it until it has been tested (either formally or in other guinea pigs' arms for a few years, at least).  I am not interested in becoming a victim of another Swine Flu vaccine boondoggle.

That is usually my approach, but given that it will be difficult to avoid infection for that long, and there is very little known about the virus either, I think the not as well known vaccine will be, to many, better than a not well known virus. 

7 hours ago, Reefgazer said:

I worked in QC for a very large and well known vaccine company in the 90s; you would recognize the company and vaccine immediately.  The shoddy QC standards that were not just careless, but negligent, were mind-boggling.  Vaccine that did not pass QC (but did not outright fail, either) was passed along to my supervisor to sign after I refused (yes, he signed off on it).  So people are absolutely right to be wary of vaccines, they are just wary for the wrong reasons because they think the vax science is dangerous, rather than the actual production plant or QC standards, which are the real issue.  I am very pro-vax, but I will not take any vax for my kids or myself unless there are at least 5 years' worth of safety and efficacy data available.

But that's true no matter how long it is out. Quality control isn't really dependent on how recent the vaccine is. 

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On 5/16/2020 at 7:49 AM, Martha in GA said:

How can 5 years' worth of safety and efficacy data make you more confident in a vaccine if there are QC issues? Maybe you would end up being injected with a vaccine that hadn't truly passed QC -- you could be one of the "unlucky" few who get that batch? I know you said the vaccine hadn't outright failed, but doesn't it worry you? If it was happening where you worked, then other places likely have similar problems...

The things you mentioned are definite concerns, and yes they worry me; I am assuming these problems are industry-wide, even though I only worked for 1 vaccine company.  When I consider a vaccine, I try to balance the benefits of the vaccine with those issues.  But four things buffer those worries for me with a more long-standing vaccine:  1)  From working in the industry, I know problems tend to come in batches.  IOW, a problem with a vaccine is usually not a multi-year issue, but more like months until the problem gets worked out, 2) Production and QC issues tend to be greatest at starting points and ramp-up points until the company gets their groove going, much like take-offs and landings are riskiest for flyers (especially issues with contamination in the cell culture lines used in QC), 3) Longer-term production problems tend to generate a "buzz" in the industry that trickles down to those who are listening, and 4) The wait also gives me time to look at data and consider the ramifications of any side effects.  So, not a perfect way to make a vaccine decision, for sure, but these are things that can reduce risk closer to my personal tolerance level.  

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