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Health, Wellness, Sex and Body Discuss hospital employees fired after refusing to get flu shot at the General Discussion; 50 hospital employees fired after refusing to get flu shot About 50 employees of Essentia Health, an upper-Midwest hospital chain, ...

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Old 01-02-2018, 10:33 AM
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Default hospital employees fired after refusing to get flu shot

50 hospital employees fired after refusing to get flu shot
About 50 employees of Essentia Health, an upper-Midwest hospital chain, didn’t go to work Wednesday.
But it wasn’t an early start to the Thanksgiving holiday for them. They were fired for refusing to get flu shots.
It’s part of a growing trend for hospitals to require flu shots for workers. Public health experts say it shouldn’t be surprising.
“It’s a patient safety issue,” said Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious disease expert at Vanderbilt University and a spokesman for the Infectious Diseases Society of America. “It’s so that we do not give flu to our patients.”
Hospital workers can pass the flu virus to some of the most vulnerable people — frail elderly, babies in incubators, patients with immune systems ravaged by cancer treatment. Vaccinating employees protects patients and the employees’ co-workers.

“Patients are in the hospital because they are sick,” said Dr. Rajesh Prabhu, Infectious Disease and Chief Patient Quality and Safety Officer at Essentia Health. "That puts them at risk of a more severe outcome from influenza. People can die from influenza.”
Each year, influenza virus kills between 4,000 and 50,000 Americans, including children who were perfectly healthy before they caught flu.
Just about everyone is advised to get a flu vaccine. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends annual flu vaccines for every one of the age of 6 months who doesn’t have a medical reason not to — for instance, an allergy to the vaccine.
But vaccination rates are low, and even among health care workers, only around 65 percent get flu vaccines every year, the CDC says.

Requiring the vaccine gets those rates up, protects patients and causes no harm, Schaffner said.
When employers require the vaccine, the CDC found, 85 percent of workers get one. Just 43 percent get vaccinated if there is no policy.
Several states, including California, require hospitals to make flu vaccines mandatory and to record and publish their vaccination rates. Maryland has a searchable database telling people a hospital’s vaccination rate.

Minnesota doesn’t require this but Essentia said it started the mandatory policy to protect patients.
“Just like other people, we had a voluntary program really encouraging our health care personnel to get vaccinated,” Prabhu said.
“In 2012-2015 our vaccination rate among health care workers was about 70 percent.” That’s not good enough, he said. “The last flu season, we went to mandatory participation. Everyone who worked at Essentia had to say yes or no.” That got vaccination rates to 82 percent — still not good enough.

Now, Essentia employees must either be vaccinated or go through a process similar to school enrollment requirements: they must apply for a medical or religious/philosophical waiver. The requests are reviewed by expert committees....
https://www.aol.com/article/news/201...shot/23286555/

Response from Minnesota Nurses Association
"Press Release: MNA Nurses Will Battle Essentia Health Over Flu Shot Firings
Press Release: MNA Nurses Will Battle Essentia Health Over Flu Shot Firings
(St. Paul) – November 20, 2017 – The Minnesota Nurses Association will file grievances to win back the jobs and wages of every single registered nurse fired for not participating in Essentia Health’s mandatory flu shot policy.
“Essentia Health showed nurses they did not intend to bargain with us in good faith,” said Steve Strand, co-chair of the bargaining unit in Duluth. “We tried to sit down with management, but Essentia executives told us they intend to follow through with terminations and mandatory flu shots regardless.”
MNA nurses proposed a voluntary program that rewards employees for participating in the flu shot, rather than a contentious mandatory policy. The nurses negotiating team also sought protections for nurses who have any adverse reactions to the flu shot, including allowing nurses to use sick time without facing discipline from Essentia.
“It was clear that Essentia had no intention to negotiate,” Strand said. “MNA nurses were obligated to fight this clearly illegal policy implementation with the filing of an Unfair Labor Practice charge. We will file grievances to fight for any nurses terminated for sticking to their beliefs and contract language.”
Essentia has told nurses they will be terminated on November 20, and more will be fired when their exemption paperwork is rejected. Nurses have filed for exemptions on religious and medical grounds but expect very few, if any, to be honored.
Nurses continue to oppose the mandatory flu shot policy for many reasons. Voluntary programs have been shown to easily increase participation; such policies often do not take into account employees’ religious or moral convictions; and healthcare workers are often disciplined for using sick time within a period of time – even if the sick time is a result to an adverse flu shot reaction.
The Minnesota Department of Health is on the record that there is no evidence to suggest that healthcare systems mandating flu shots see a significant reduction in influenza cases in their facilities.
MNA will announce the number of terminations of nurses as information becomes available."
https://mnnurses.org/mna-nurses-will...-shot-firings/
It's wrong for for any agency to force people to take drugs. And Especially drugs that are are questionable in effectiveness and there are MORE effective natural preventatives , Such as Vitamin D for Flu prevention.
http://www.bbc.com/news/health-38988982
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Last edited by mr wonder; 01-02-2018 at 10:40 AM..
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