I reported earlier about the resistance among New York health care workers to taking the mandatory H1N1 vaccine. Well, the state has backed down. From the story:
New York public health workers will no longer be required to be vaccinated against both the seasonal and H1N1 flu virus, state officials announced Thursday, prompted by a vaccine shortage. New York health workers will not receive mandatory flu shots due to a vaccine shortage.
A statement from Gov. David Paterson announced the policy change on behalf of State Health Commissioner Richard F. Daines. Daines had originally said that public health workers must be vaccinated for the seasonal flu and the H1N1 virus, also known as swine flu, by November 30 or risk discipline. The Public Employees Federation, New York’s second-largest state employees union, sued over the requirement and was awaiting a state Supreme Court hearing scheduled for October 30. The vaccine shortage has defused the conflict.
No, it provided a face saving way out of a fight the government wouldn’t win.
Can you imagine if the Bush Administration had a shortage of vaccine? The screaming about incompetence we would hear! (No, I am not charging incompetence. I am saying that if Bush were POTUS, the usual chorus of critics would.) That double standard aside, this is an interesting development. Americans do not like to be coerced by government. This principle could bode well for conscience clauses, perhaps even Obamacare.