Three things everyone should know about the civic duty of health care workers with direct patient contact to be immunized against influenza:
- Health care workers have a duty to the patient. That duty is to protect those who cannot protect themselves, to do no harm and to put the interests of the patient first.
- Health care workers have a duty to patients and co-workers to protect themselves from influenza. Doing so decreases the preventable absenteeism that decreases the capacity of the health care system at the very time influenza predictably increases the demand on staffing and the health care system.
- Health care workers have a duty to the public. They need to be leaders in demonstrating the importance of immunization so that the public understands the need to protect themselves, their friends, neighbors and relatives, especially those at higher risk for serious complications.