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Islam and vaccinations: what should I do next?

Printed From: IslamiCity.com
Category: Religion - Islam
Forum Name: General Islamic Matter
Forum Discription: Discuss Islamic matters/issues that not covered by other sub catagories
URL: http://www.IslamiCity.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=24100
Printed Date: 20 December 2014 at 3:11pm


Topic: Islam and vaccinations: what should I do next?
Posted By: lady
Subject: Islam and vaccinations: what should I do next?
Date Posted: 18 October 2012 at 3:56am

Please answer my question as soon as possible.

I am a traveling nurse and I travel to different states every three months, etc.  The hospital that I will be traveling too next week forces all nurses to take the flu vaccination.  I read two years ago an article that said alot of nurses and health care workers later in their older years were having more appearances of MS (multiple sclerosis).  It is a disease that affects the central nerous system, etc.  The article said that the main thing that these health care workers including nurses have in common is that they are forced to take the common vaccinations required by the state, such as the flu vaccination etc.  Now whether these vaccinations causes MS later in life because it is taken for years by these health care workers or nurses is unknown, but it is something that can not be ignored.
 
Anyway, I took the flu vaccination last year for the first time because I was not thinking that I can argue against it based on my religion.  So this year things have changed, if you refused the vaccination, either you will be fired from your job or you have to show  a letter that is signed by the Imam that this is against our religious belief. 
The problem I am having now is that when I called the mosque that is located in the state of my permanent address, the imam there disgree that the flu vaccination is against islam, etc.  His response was that he has been taking it for 13 years and there is no side effects.  I texted him back and said thanks for his opinion etc. 
I have one week to come up with a notorized signature or a stamp that has the mosque name on my refusal letter stating  only that the "I can not take the flu vaccination because it is against my religion."  What should I do next?
PS
Even if I was not muslim, I do not believe in getting vaccinated. I am the type of person who will not even take tynelol for a headache or belly pain, etc.  I belief in home schooling kids for many reasons but one is so that my future kids will not have to take vaccinations, etc.
 
Please dont send me any replies saying that the flu vaccination is good for people, etc.  I know both arguments, I just need help on what to do next.  I will try to contact all mosque or even travel far to some just to get this approve signature from an Imam.  Do you know of any imams on the east coast who will sign my letter just in case the others in my state will agree with my local imam? 
 
Or maybe you can help me to have a better debate with that imam who said that he can not sign my paper.



Replies:
Posted By: Ron Webb
Date Posted: 18 October 2012 at 10:26pm
What should you do?  Well, the only group I know of that says vaccinations are forbidden in Islam is the Taliban.  Maybe you should contact them.  Evil%20Smile
 
Seriously, what should you do?  You should get the flu shot.  And you should fulfill your parental obligation to protect your children from harm by ensuring that they get the flu shot too.  Not to mention your obligation to your patients who might get sick and possibly die because of your obstinacy.
 
But you won't listen to the hospital, you won't listen to the schools, you won't listen to every competent medical authority, you won't even listen to your imam, so why would you listen to me?


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Addeenul ‘Aql – Religion is intellect.


Posted By: nospam001
Date Posted: 19 October 2012 at 12:21am

Originally posted by lady

I read two years ago an article that said alot of nurses and health care workers later in their older years were having more appearances of MS (multiple sclerosis).
Supposing the source were a peer-reviewed scientific paper and the findings have since been replicated then I'd take it to the next step - i.e. weigh it up against all the other arguments for and against and finally make a decision under conditions of less-than-total certainty. 

Having said that, it would take very strong evidence to outweigh the other (firmly-established) benefits that flu vaccinations do provide.
 
For vaccinating one's child: imagine the two worst-case scenarios and decide how you'd feel in each case.  In one, you refuse to vaccinate and your child later dies from an easily preventable disease - along with some other people you don't even know; in the other, you do vaccinate, and she dies as a result of (what is not yet proven to be) a side-effect of the vaccine. For me, this little thought experiment makes it a no-brainer. But each to his own, I suppose.


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God has the right to remain silent. For His advocates, however, each resigned shrug is a missed opportunity to win new converts.


Posted By: abuayisha
Date Posted: 19 October 2012 at 7:34am

Assalamu alaikum,

Lady  your argument for religious exemption should not be based upon whether or not the shot causes harm, but  you are not compelled and can't be forced to take the medicine.

During the Prophet's illness Aisha (raa) said we put medicine in the side of his (asa) mouth, and he waved us away indicating he did not want it, but we continued anyway thinking patients have an aversion to medicine.  The Prophet said, 'Did I not forbid you to put medicine (by force) in the side of my mouth?  We said, 'We thought it was just because patients usually dislike medicine.'  He said, 'None of those who are in the house but will be forced to take medicine in the side of his mouth while I am watching, except Al Abbas, for he had not witnessed your deed.'

So your argument to the Imam is that by forcing you to take something against your will - it is a form of harm, which under ideal circumstance you could retaliate.  There is no compulsion in taking medicine - this is what he is signing off on, and not specifically on "flu shots".    I wish you well, and be careful during your travels.



Posted By: abuayisha
Date Posted: 19 October 2012 at 7:43am
Originally posted by Ron Webb

What should you do?  Well, the only group I know of that says vaccinations are forbidden in Islam is the Taliban.  Maybe you should contact them.  Evil%20Smile
 
OSHA and Nurses Not on the Bandwagon
While many employers and professional groups promote mandatory flu vaccination, opposition has arisen from the federal government and unions representing nurses.
Jordan Barab, deputy assistant secretary for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) in the U.S. Department of Labor, submitted comments to the NVAC in January 2012 saying mandatory vaccinations are not necessary and arguing against employees being fired for not receiving the flu shot.
OSHA strongly supports “efforts to increase influenza vaccination rates among health care personnel in accordance with the Healthy People 2020 goals,” Barab wrote. However, “at this time, OSHA believes there is insufficient evidence for the federal government to promote mandatory influenza vaccination programs that may result in employment termination.”
While vaccination protects health care workers from the flu, scientific literature does not support vaccinating the workers in order to protect patients, Barab wrote. “High [health care personnel] influenza vaccination rates are generally desirable, but we are unaware of any evidence to support the notion that such a high influenza vaccination rate is also essential to protect patients, and should thus bemandatory.”
Barab urged NVAC to rewrite its recommendations to remove references to firing employees who refuse the influenza vaccine. Instead, OSHA encourages employers to offer the vaccination to employees, educate them on the benefits and risks of the shot, and allow employees to sign statements declining the shot if that is their preference.
The National Nurses United union agrees with OSHA’s stance. Nurse DeAnn McEwen, vice president of the National Nurses United Executive Board, told SHRM Online that the union strongly recommends that all nurses receive all recommended vaccines. But any vaccination program “should include extensive education on risks and benefits with an emphasis on patient protection,” she said. And nurses should have the right to refuse any treatment, including a vaccination, for religious or health reasons, she added.
Instead of making the flu shot a condition of employment as a means of preventing flu transmission, McEwen said, nurses and health care professionals should receive education and easy access to the vaccine, education on hygiene and hand washing to prevent spreading the flu, and sufficient sick leave so that ill health care professionals can stay home and not pass the flu to co-workers or patients.
In addition, the nurses’ union objects to forcing employees who decline the vaccine to wear a mask. “There’s not good science to recommend masking,” she said. “Masking is also targeting the individual for exercising her rights to refuse medical treatment and, I think, violates privacy laws. It’s not good policy for hospitals, for patients seeing everyone wearing masks—it’s a facade of protection that doesn’t really benefit the public.”
Some nurses who are fighting against vaccination as a condition of employment have won a major battle: In January 2012, a United States District Court ruled in favor of the Washington State Nurses Association, representing more than 600 registered nurses at Virginia Mason Medical Center in Seattle, in upholding an arbitrator’s decision that stopped the hospital from forcing nurses to receive the flu shot. The hospital was one of the first health care systems to have a mandatory flu vaccine policy, starting in 2004, according to NurseZone.com.
“HR professionals should look at this as an employee satisfaction issue, and what the public’s perception of the employer will be, on how it treats its employees,” McEwen said. “Opt on the side of being professional and evidence-based, providing education and incentivizing employees” to receive the shot. “Avoid being coercive and mandatory. No sound policy supports that.”


Posted By: Ghazzali
Date Posted: 19 October 2012 at 10:22am
Aassalamualaikum. Why would you expect an imam to say its against our religion when actually it isn't? It's a health issue, not a religious one. You dont want vaccination because it can cause MS, but if u catch a deadly flu, it can kill u and u will spread it to other people, most possibly ur patients. It's ur choice. Not an imam's. Why force an imam to lie? The way i see it, u have two options: file a suit in a court against ur employers, or leave the job. Both are costly, but probably less than the threat of MS, as u put it.

May Allah help you.


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The world is a dangerous place to live in, not because of the bad people, but because of the good people who does not do anything about it.


Posted By: Ron Webb
Date Posted: 19 October 2012 at 4:49pm
Originally posted by abuayisha

OSHA and Nurses Not on the Bandwagon
 
Sure, but just to be clear, both groups strongly support vaccination and agree that nurses should be vaccinated.  What they're saying is that they should not be coerced into it by government or employers.
 
I'm not sure myself whether coercion is justified, but IMHO coercion shouldn't even be necessary.  Health care professionals ought to understand the medical benefits and see through the fearmongering of the anti-vaxxers.


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Addeenul ‘Aql – Religion is intellect.


Posted By: lady
Date Posted: 22 October 2012 at 1:52am

Assalaamaoalaikum.

Thanks for all your replies.  Abuayisha I saw the current assistant Imam and he agreed with me.  I showed him what you wrote on this website and he decided to talk to the imam. Anyway later he talked to the Imam, and they will sign my letter.  I was so stressed about this. wallahi. Thanks so much again.
 
PS Ghazzali, I did not say that the flu vaccination can cause MS. There is no proof of this but only that alot of nurses and health care workers are having it. The article found that health care workers have a history of common vaccinations that they take each year, and whether or not those vaccinations are causing MS is unknown at that point of time I read that article.  Also religion and health can not be seperated. I know all the things you post about how it is more beneficial to take the flu vaccination etc. That is why I said I am not interested to hear that the flu vaccination is good for people, etc.   Even though I 100 percent disagree with you, but thanks for taking out the time to post your concerns.
And may Allah bless you more.
FYI for anyone who is religiously committed to taking the  flu vaccination and they have major concerns about my refusal of it, then know this:
 for the ones who have approval of not taking the flu vaccination, they must wear a different mask upon entering each patient's room.  I am so happy to do this becacuse I feel like it is safer to protect myself this way then to take the flu vaccination.  And also, I am happy that I get to be more modest and hide my face at the same time.Wink


Posted By: Naykas
Date Posted: 11 December 2014 at 10:36am
Reply to original post about Islam and Vaccination
I am going through a similar situation at present, all I could suggest is to equip yourself with the pro/con from your employer's point of view by visiting www.vaccinerights.com, and use this opportunity to educate the Imams and others about the main point: FORCING employee to take the vaccine or they will be fired, and that the employers refused to accept just saying NO, you can only say NO for MEDICAL OR RELIGIOUS reasons. Presently all the CDC has to say is that "Flu vaccination of HCP has been shown to reduce the risk of flu and absenteeism in vaccinated HCP and reduce the risk of respiratory illness and deaths in nursing home residents" In my case my employer wants me to describe the religious doctrine or practice that is contrary to influenza vaccine......the Flu vaccine do not prevent you from getting the flu in the first place, but only reduces your flu symptoms if you do get it..The flu company are the only pharmaceutical company protected by law from law suit, we the tax payers foot the bill for all litigated vaccination related cases,it's about supply and demand, since they get to make new vaccine every single year, they need the demand (mandatory vaccination for HCP), do you know that there is a potential 2.5% Medicare bonus related to increasing employer vaccination rate.// those who think for a minute is ONLY about protecting the public think twice,employees are easily dispensable when they interfere with the bottom line - Profit margin.


Posted By: Naykas
Date Posted: 11 December 2014 at 10:50am
I am new to the post, i did not get to see the final outcome before I replied your initial post. Kindly update me on how you're coping with the yearly vaccination...and by the way please check out www.vaccinerights.com for valuable information.


Posted By: Aleva
Date Posted: 12 December 2014 at 3:24am
Islam does not approve vaccination, in Islam we believe in The Holy Quran - The words of Allah, Allah send message to us through The Prophet Muhammad(pbuh) . The Holy Quran said not once, that Allah had created us in perfect shape, so we do not need any vaccination as God has given us a perfect immune system, which through the sickness growing stronger, InshAllah. Anyone who opposes this, oppose Allah.
"The One Who has 'perfected everything' He has created and began the creation of human beings from clay" (Qur'an 32:7)

"Allah is the One who made the Earth a habitat for you, and the sky as a structure, and He designed you, and has perfected your design." (Qur'an 40:64)

"Allah created the heavens and the Earth for a true purpose, He designed you, and has perfected your design. You will all return to Him." (Qur'an 64:3)
http://www.quranicpath.com/misconceptions/circumcision.html


Posted By: lady
Date Posted: 14 December 2014 at 5:03am
Some people need to be vaccinated because they don't eat healthy or they may have a weak immune system because of certain illnesses that they may have in their system. I don't get the flu vaccination at all, and I am an
ER nurse. I rarely get sick and I personally think that people should have the right to decide for themselves if they want to be vaccinated or not. No one should force you to have medicine injected in your body without your consent. And that is what this topic is about. As a muslim, it is against our religion for someone to force us to take medicine without our consent.


Posted By: Naykas
Date Posted: 18 December 2014 at 7:33am
It started as a strong recommendation,then to coercion, today it's being made MANDATORY and health care personnel(HCP)at majority of acute care hospitals are COMPELLED, FORCED,HARASSED,THREATENED with being fired if they refuse. A nurse was going to sign the so called flu consent form with a note saying "AGAINST MY WILL", my job declined. I am in that battle as we speak. First I put myself in the employer's shoe of the benefits of me getting flu shot, then considering my patient's health. The CDC has an Honor Roll list for hospitals, main requirement to get on the list is 90% HCP vaccination rate,hospitals get rewarded with 2.5% Medicare payments. It was never a religious debate, but CDC has categories of declination/exemption called the Denominator and Numerator HCP. CDC recognized individual belief system to refuse vaccination so they categorize religious exemptions under Numerator and HCP verbal declination is all the employer is required to have, No other documentation is needed. Now the employer turned around requesting for description of your religious doctrine or practice that is contrary to influenza vaccine. Not only the form, you have to produce a letter on official letter head, from your clergy with an explanation of same


Posted By: Naykas
Date Posted: 18 December 2014 at 9:16am
As an ER nurse myself, many nurses caved in under the mounting pressure of been fired and very afraid to loose their job, INFORMED CONSENT that is a precious language to us is QUICKLY out of the window. Many are not even aware of the type of flu shot they got, so I'm all about educating each other to the components of the shot and that we do actually have a right to refuse but only under two circumstances MEDICAL or RELIGIOUS. There are basically 3 types of flu shot - one with eggs, gelatin, formaldehyde and mercury; another one with only formaldehyde (for egg allergy HCP) and lastly only one with preservative free is in phase3 of medical trial. It's about supply and demand, mandating all HCP(supply) Flu shot manufacturers are shielded from law suit(Demand),tax payers pay to defend any shot related suits. How will you like a shot of 25 or 50mcg of mercury in your blood in the name of vaccination?? it's about P4P, so create an Honor Roll for yourself, demand to know the type of shot you're getting, be informed then decide, remember DO NO HARM is not just to your patients, what about your body, over 22 years in the field (HCP) never got either the shot nor the flu, don't even take any Rx pills, I should know my immune system better than any vaccination, what ever happens to Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), Droplets and Universal precautions and the likes - those are the REAL protection from the flu. I am presently awaiting the administration to reply my exemption letter..     



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