B.C. policy states that health care workers must get the flu shot and may face discipline if they refuse. (AP/Rogelio V. Solis)
This morning, that advertisement will begin rolling out across Alberta. And soon governments, health authorities and hospitals across the country will ask you -- and everyone around you -- to get a flu shot.
In British Columbia, the Chief Medical Health Officer is doing a lot more than just asking. His office's policy makes flu shots mandatory for health care workers in B.C. If health care workers don't get the shot, they may be disciplined. Discipline could range from being told to wear a mask ... to being fired.
For many people, the flu shot isn't a big deal. But for Debbie Hodges, registered psychiatric nurse in Powell River, B.C., the directive puts her in a difficult position.
"The situation I'm in, I work in acute psychiatry and I can't have the flu shot, it is not a choice of not wanting it. I can't have it. I'm allergic. And they're telling me I will have to have a face mask it I don't have the shot, which to me is quite a dangerous thing because I am working with people who are quite psychotic and my fear is you can't have an open conversation with somebody if you are wearing a face. We're worried that we might be putting ourselves at risk of being attacked because people would be afraid of us wearing face masks".Debbie Hodges, Registered Psychiatric Nurse
The B.C. Health Sciences Association -- a professional group which represents about 16,000 health care workers -- is fighting the mandatory flu shot policy. The association took it to a provincial arbitrator and asked him to strike it down.Lindsay Lyster is the lawyer for the BC Health Sciences Association. She was in our Vancouver studio.
What do you think? Should flu shots be mandatory for health care workers?
This segment was produced by The Current's Sujata Berry, Nurrudin Qorane and Edmonton Network producer, Gillian Rutherford.
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