Readers’ CornerOctober 16, 2012
More about those mandatory flu shots!
Since our article on the flu vaccine being forced on health workers, readers have been sharing their own stories of discrimination, workplace pressure, and mandatory vaccinations for hospital employees.
To shield their identities, we have changed all names in this article.
Bryan reports that in one South Carolina hospital system, not only healthcare workers but contractors as well—plumbers, electricians, even photographers—anyone who performs work “in clinical areas” (whether doctors’ offices, medical office buildings, or the hospital) are required to provide documentation that they have received their annual flu shot.
Eleanor says that in one Wisconsin health system’s facilities, all employed staff, licensed independent practitioners, contract workers, volunteers, clergy, students, residents, interns, fellows, and product vendors, must either get a flu shot or must wear a mask at all times—regardless of whether there is direct patient contact or whether they are directly employed by the facility. “Here in Wisconsin we have religious, medical, and philosophical exemptions. However, none of them can be used because our hospital claims that it is not forcing us to take the flu shot….Not only do we have to wear a mask at all times, but we also are forced to wear a huge pin that points us out! ”
Anne writes, “Two years ago, the flu shot became mandatory for all employees involved in patient care. It was stated if you work where patients are seen, you must get the flu shot. As I work in the pathology department, I am not directly involved in patient care. Yet this year we were given one month to get a flu shot. Refusing to comply results in disciplinary action—a write-up. Four write-ups can result in suspension/termination. I currently have two write-ups, and will be getting another this year. There are three ways to be exempt: religious belief (verified and signed off by clergy), medical (signed off by an MD or DO only), or philosophical (which is ALWAYS REJECTED).”
June writes, “I work for a large multiple-hospital corporation in Ohio. They require us to get flu shots. In order not to be forced into being immunized, you must provide a documented allergic reaction or other excuse they deem ‘valid.’ If you refuse the vaccine, you have two options: wear a mask at work the entire flu season, or take administrative leave (which is unpaid and comes with no job protection).”
Remember that the drug companies—and the governmental agencies that make the guidelines—are the ones who profit from mandatory vaccinations, not the patients.
We encourage our readers to continue submitting their stories about being forced to take a flu shot (which in the US still contains mercury) in the comments section below.