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NY Health Commissioner R. Daines Suspends Flu Vaccine Mandate for Health Care Workers

From Ken Adachi, Editor
October 23, 2009

NY Health Commissioner R. Daines Suspends Flu Vaccine Mandate for Health Care Workers (Oct. 23, 2009)

I just received an e-mail from Rick Stearns, husband of a New York nurse who was adament in not going along with the "mandated" Swine Flu requirement issued last month by New York Health Commissioner Dr Richard Daines, who had given all New York health care workers a simple choice: either get vaccinated with the Swine Flu Kool Aid by November 30 or lose your job.

Sounds pretty simple, short and sweet to me, assuming we were living in the Middle Ages and Commissioner Daines was High Lord Reagent of the Shire and was given the authority by Queen Sebelius to issue such edicts, but unfortunately for modern day elites saddled with a bad case of megalomaniaism and unbriddled hubris, they are hampered by rebellious subjects within the hamlet who don't seem to quite understand that doing what they are told is in the "best interests' of patients" and themselves.

Dr Daines, whose wife Linda is manager of private client services at Goldman Sachs (which funds Novartis and other vaccine producers) was quite offended and perturbed when a reporter asked him about his wife's association with Goldman Sachs and hung up. You can listen to his response from this audio clip: Daines gets mad Oct 23 2009 .mp3

Al Roney of WGY 810 discusses Commissioner Daines suspension of the vaccine mandate, which was issued from the office of New York Govenor David Patterson, on the basis that the "limited" amount of flu vaccine now available will be better distributed with those who have 'greater' priority (the govenor and Daines now placing health care workers at the BOTTOM of the priority when two weeks ago they were at the TOP of the priority list).

Daines' office soon sent an e-mail to the reporter expressing Daines' irritation by being asked the question about his wife's connection with Goldman Sachs (which he did not answer) and that Daines is NOT in bed with the pharmaceuticals and that he's DEEPLY offended that this reporter should be so crass to join in with the "frenzy" of anti-vaccine proponents who "refuse to look at the science" and ASK such a question!

Listen to Al Roney's response: hour 1 no more flu shot mandate10-23hour1.mp3

I previously posted a letter dated September 28, 2009 by Rick Stearns which he had sent to all district presidents of the New York Nurses Assocation and NY Health Cmmissioner Dr. Richard Daines outlining his and his wife's concerns about mandatory vaccinations for an untested and liability-absolved vaccine. ( ). He never received a reply from anyone who was sent the letter.

Below is the e-mail I received from Rick Stearns, with linked articles reproduced further below

Ken Adachi


From: Rick Stearns <>
To: Ken Adachi
Subject: question to Daines --> mandate suspended
Date: Oct 23, 2009

Ken, check it out ... The last half hour or so of 10/22 Hour #3 has an interview with a reporter who TRIED to ask Daines about "the connection".

The guy has a press secretary to shield him from any hard questions and then hits the panic button when this didn't stop the reporter.

And hours later, they "suspend" the mandate - another stalling tactic of course.


Flu Vaccine Requirement for Health Workers Is Lifted

Published: October 22, 2009

The Paterson administration backed away on Thursday evening from a health regulation that would have compelled hundreds of thousands of health care workers and hospital volunteers to be vaccinated for seasonal and swine flu.

Claudia Hutton, a spokeswoman for the State Health Department, said in an interview Thursday night that the regulation had been suspended because of a shortage of H1N1 vaccine. She said that the state wanted to concentrate its vaccination efforts on pregnant women and children.

“Since the vaccine is so scarce right now and since the virus has proved especially difficult for pregnant women and young people — there have been deaths — we felt that the best use of the scarce amount of vaccine right now is for those populations,” Ms. Hutton said.

In August, the state health commissioner, Dr. Richard F. Daines, issued an order for health care workers to be vaccinated by Nov. 30, and hospitals warned that those who refused could be disciplined or fired.

But last week, a judge in Albany halted enforcement of the rule in response to a lawsuit filed by three nurses who claimed that the requirement needed legislative approval and that the commissioner had overstepped his authority.

Ms. Hutton said that Dr. Daines’s change of policy — which was announced late Thursday in a statement from the office of Gov. David A. Paterson — was not influenced by the litigation.

New York found itself isolated in its insistence on mandatory vaccinations. No other state adopted a similar regulation, and neither the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention nor the World Health Organization were recommending mandatory H1N1 vaccinations.

Some public health experts had applauded the rule. But referring to mandatory vaccination, Dr. Thomas R. Frieden, director of the federal centers, said last summer that “this is just not the right flu season to take this on,” because of the logistical difficulties of distributing both seasonal and swine flu vaccines.

Those logistical concerns turned out to be warranted. The governor pointed to a statement by the centers that said that only about 23 percent of the anticipated vaccine supply would be available by month’s end.

So far this week, the federal agency has allowed the state to order 146,300 doses of vaccine, while physicians have asked for more than 1.48 million doses, Ms. Hutton said.

“They don’t expect things to get markedly better until well into November, perhaps December,” Ms. Hutton said. “Even while the mandate was in effect, we were telling our hospital workers that if you have a choice of vaccinating patients or workers, please vaccinate patients.”

Terence L. Kindlon, a lawyer for the three nurses, said on Thursday evening, “This is a good result, because the decision whether or not to be vaccinated is one that should be made by the individual.”

State ends flu shot mandate
Shortage of swine flu vaccine forces end to controversial rule

Friday, October 23, 2009

ALBANY -- Citing a shortage of the vaccine, the state Department of Health has ended a mandate that most of the state's health care workers be inoculated against the flu.

Gov. David Paterson attributed Thursday's decision to limited supplies of the H1N1 vaccinations, a number of doses far short of the federal government's expected delivery. The decision also tosses out mandated seasonal flu shots.

"Over the last week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention acknowledged that New York would only receive approximately 23 percent of its anticipated vaccine supply by the end of the month," Paterson said in a prepared statement. "As a result, we need to be as resourceful as we can with the limited supplies of vaccine currently coming into the state and make sure that those who are at the highest risk for complications from the H1N1 flu receive the first vaccine being distributed right now in New York state."

This summer, the federal government projected 120 million doses would be available by the end of October. This week, the CDC changed expected delivery to just 27.7 million doses. The CDC allowed the state to order only 146,300 doses of vaccine, even though New York's health providers requested more than 1,482,822 doses.

The order from Health Commissioner Richard Daines that health care workers who come in contact with patients, including employees of hospitals, receive the vaccine came earlier this fall and has resulted in at least two lawsuits and protests over what many workers claimed was an unfair intrusion on their freedom of choice.

Daines presented the measure as a simple matter of due diligence for health care workers, whose presence in hospitals and other facilities brought them into close contact with infants, the elderly and other people whose immune systems might be compromised.

Daines said Thursday that it was essential to first get the vaccine to those who need it most.

"We had told hospitals that if they had to choose between vaccinating patients or employees to vaccinate patients first," Daines said in a prepared statement. "This week, the CDC confirmed that most of the national supply of seasonal flu vaccine has been distributed, and that H1N1 vaccine distribution is far behind projections. New evidence is showing that H1N1 can be especially virulent to pregnant women and young people – so they should get vaccinated first."

One of the lawsuits led to a temporary injunction against the order, which mandated that all health care workers get the shot by Nov. 30 or risk losing their jobs.

Opponents of the mandatory shots said they were heartened by the news.

"They should" withdraw the mandate, said Kevin McCashion upon hearing the news. The Colonie businessman helped organize a local protest against the mandate.

Read more:

Lorna Patterson, a nurse in the emergency room at Albany Medical Center Hospital, was among a group of health care workers who brought a lawsuit to fight the order. She said late Thursday that she and her fellow nurses were just excited they could concentrate on nursing. She said Paterson recognized the importance of letting people make their own health care decisions.

"I'm just glad our health care organizations can function, knowing they have the stuff they need," she said.

Terence Kindlon, the Albany attorney who brought one of the lawsuits against the state, said the state decided to act in good faith. He said questions remain about whether or not there is even a health crisis. He said it was unfair to single out a small slice of the population upon which to force an untested vaccination.

"I think they tried to sneak this one under the radar," Kindlon said. "The lesson is it's better to play by the rule book."

Kindlon said he believes the decision to back off the mandate will end his court case, but some nurses want to prevent any future mandates, which the governor's office left open as a possibility.

Sue Field, a Poughkeepsie nurse who filed suit against the rule, said she wants to continue her case in order to get a court decision against the mandatory vaccine.

"This is encouraging, but I don't see that at this moment it would stop the lawsuit," she said.

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