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Latest from The Spokesman-Review

To Vaccinate or Not

Recently, Yahoo reported on nurses being fired at an Indiana hospital for refusing to get vaccinated.  (http://news.yahoo.com/nurses-fired-refusing-flu-shot-224637902—abc-news-health.html)

I am in a position where I depend on my care givers to get vaccinated for the flu.  I think that all care givers in hospitals and doctors' offices and clinics should get the flu vaccine - to protect their patients.  I recently got the whooping cough booster to safeguard my new grandchildren.

Several years ago, I helped care for Mechanic Man's grandmother in a nursing home here in Spokane.  After almost three years there, an aid came in with the flu instead of staying home (now THAT would be a novel idea as opposed to getting vaccinated).   Grandma got the flu within a couple days, vomited down her face and neck causing severe burns from the acid.  She also lost her ability to swallow.  So - she starved to death because someone didn't get vaccinated.

I think firing is a little over the top - but I also think that if you are in the health care field, you need to get vaccinated.

imho ~ Jeanie ~

Fred Meyer Offers Needle-Free Shots

The option of needle-free fall flu shots is being offered at Fred Meyer stores in Idaho and Washington, the company announced. The company press release said “most” Fred Meyer stores will have needle-free and traditional options. You may need to call ahead to confirm, if you're looking for the newer version. This is the first time Fred Meyer stores and pharmacies have provided the needle-free injections, said Marc Cecchini, vice president and director of pharmacy for Fred Meyer Stores. Injections use a Biojector, a CO2 gas-propelled system that  delivers medications or vaccines through a sterile single-use syringe/Tom Sowa, Office Hours. More here.

Question: Are you afraid of needles?

DoH goes retro with WashYourHandsington

OLYMPIA — The state Department of Health has a message for you for flu season: WashYourHandsington.

The agency's campaign to get you to get wash up, cover your cough and get your flu shot is summed up in a slogan that puts “Your Hands” between the Wash- and the -ington in the state's name. It comes complete with posters reminiscent of a 1950s tourism campaign, radio jingles and Internet videos.

Cheesy? A bit silly? Easy to make fun of? Yes to all, says Department spokesman Tim Church. Talk show hosts have smacked it around, and comedian George Lopez did a take off.

But it gets the point across, Church says. When people call to say they don't like this campaign about washing your hands and getting a flu shot, he contends “they may not like it but they're getting the message.”

The internet video, which uses the campy radio jingle as background with images of sudsy hands clapping and smiling people at recognizable Washington locales, has had 35,000 hits since it went up in late December, which is more than most of the staid videos other departments post on the YouTube channel for Washington state government.

Funding for the campaign came from a portion of the $300,000 the federal government gave the state for flu prevention. The ad campaign didn't eat up the entire amount, he said, department also did research, conducted focus groups to determine why people don't get their flu shots and how to increase the rates of vaccination.

They could've done a boring public service announcement with someone saying “Hi, I'm doctor. Get your flu shot,” Church said. But then who'd be talking about it?

They printed about 10,000 copies of the “WashYourHandsingtonposters distributed to local health districts, clinics and doctors' offices, as well as post cards and stickers. “I've heard some people are framing them and putting them up. They'll last longer that way than just pinned up on some bulletin board.”