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Flu shot required for work and I'm pregnant

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 

I just found out I am pregnant. I am due April 23, 2012!!!!!

 

YAY!!!!

Here is a huge bump in my road. I am an RN in the NICU. My hospital has made the policy this year that you get a flu shot or you get fired. You may be exempt if you have had a serious reaction previously or if you are allergic to eggs.

 

**I do not have the money or the ability to sue the hospital. We are not a union state. My husband is about to lose his job so I cannot afford to lose mine too. Suing is not an option.**

 

I can go on my own and get the 'less mercury' shot from the local pharmacy (this is what I did last year). I will be 5 months along by the time the 'shot or fired' date comes. 

 

I may honestly have no choice except to get the less mercury shot and pray.

post #2 of 23

I got the flu shot when I was pregnant. I was nervous because I had never had a flu shot before. But I was totally fine and had no reaction except for some soreness at the injection site.

 

 

post #3 of 23

It's criminal that employers put their employees in a position like this. I understand that you may not have much of a choice as you have to keep your job. I honestly don't know what I would do in your position. I suppose I would try and get a flu vaccine that was not preserved with mercury at all (order a single dose vial) and wait as long as I could to see if I could firure out a way around this.

 

I honestly don't know how they can discriminate against people who have religious beliefs that prevent them from vaccinating and get away with it.

post #4 of 23
Thread Starter 

I went to Walgreens last year and got one that was 'mercury free'. It was a single dose shot that I double checked before she injected me. I can go that route again this year. It was easy to do. Work just needs the receipt with my name on it turned into employee health. Last year the deadline was sometime in December. If I wait until the last possible day I would be around 20-22 weeks.

 

Here is what Walgreens says on their page: Seasonal thimerosal-free injectable flu shots $29.99
Contain no mercury preservative. Some states require that pregnant women wanting a flu shot receive this type of vaccine. Ask your pharmacist about availability.

 

I also have a flexible spending account through work so this doesn't cost me any money.

post #5 of 23

Can you get a transfer within the hospital to a place that does not require the flu shot (administrative type stuff)

 

Would a doctors note saying you will suffer from psychological distress suffice as a medical note?

 

Can you go on stress leave?

 

If you get the flu shot - does timing matter?  Can you wait until you are past the first trimester?  

 

I am sorry you are in this position  greensad.gif

 

  

post #6 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by rik8144 View Post

I went to Walgreens last year and got one that was 'mercury free'. It was a single dose shot that I double checked before she injected me. I can go that route again this year. It was easy to do. Work just needs the receipt with my name on it turned into employee health. Last year the deadline was sometime in December. If I wait until the last possible day I would be around 20-22 weeks.

 

Here is what Walgreens says on their page: Seasonal thimerosal-free injectable flu shots $29.99
Contain no mercury preservative. Some states require that pregnant women wanting a flu shot receive this type of vaccine. Ask your pharmacist about availability.

 

I also have a flexible spending account through work so this doesn't cost me any money.


 

It is good you can get the mercury free version and be past the first trimester smile.gif

post #7 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by kathymuggle View Post

Can you get a transfer within the hospital to a place that does not require the flu shot (administrative type stuff)

 

Would a doctors note saying you will suffer from psychological distress suffice as a medical note?

 

Can you go on stress leave?

 

If you get the flu shot - does timing matter?  Can you wait until you are past the first trimester?  

 

I am sorry you are in this position  greensad.gif

 

  

All employees from RNs, Drs, trash pickup, laundry, food service, etc get the shot or fired.

 

Only notes of medical reactions/allergies etc will pass.

 

And yep, you saw my earlier post. So, for now that is my plan.
 

 

post #8 of 23

i wonder how your ob/midwife/health care provider would feel about discussing any reactions you might have had in the past?  if you had a fever or another reaction, and you told her/him this, would that be enough of a "reaction" to qualify for a written excuse?  i wonder if the reaction would have needed to be documented in some way at the time?  some healthcare providers will fudge things a little if they believe you are right in doing so. 

i had a healthcare provider once help me blur the time of when i could go back to work after birth to allow me to work from home legally.  it'd be worth asking about at any rate.

post #9 of 23

Ugh.. You just reminded me that I'm going to have to get a flu shot also during pregnancy.  I also work at a hospital with the same policy.  I will check with Walgreens for the mercury free shot

post #10 of 23

Can you become allergic to eggs? Perhaps you could make an appointment with a new general practitioner, and have that in your notes from the beginning? 

 

You'd have to avoid eating eggs at work, but that would be a small price to pay.

 

Or maybe you could complete all the paperwork for the shot at Walgreens, pay, and get the receipt before the shot, and then "get an urgent call on your cell phone" that you have to step out and take right before getting the shot? If they don't normally have you pay prior, maybe your husband could say he is in a rush, and can he pay prior, so he can leave with his credit card?

Maybe do this in a different Walgreens than you normally go to, so they don't ask you about it when they see you again?

 

I know some people are going to jump all over me about my sneaky ideas, but I'd have no problem being sneaky in order to protect my baby.

 

Do not discuss this with anyone at work right now, so you can keep your options open.

 

If you are going to get the shot, wait until the last possible day, and then get a shot with NO mercury, not "less."

Here are the brands that contain no mercury:

 

Afluria, by CSL (Single dose vial only!!!)

Fluarix, by GlaxoSmithKline

Agriflu by Novartis

Fluzone by Sanofi Pasteur (Single dose vial or pre-filled syringe only!!!) Makes sure it is the regular strength, not high dose.

 

post #11 of 23

Yeah this is absurd. I'm sorry you have to go through this, doesn't seem ethical. I work at a hospital and here you have a choice, If you choose not to receive the flu shot you must wear a surgical mask upon entering every patient's room.

post #12 of 23

That totally sucks. :-(  Isn't the flu shot class C drug during pregnancy?  I had asked my OB  her opinion about getting the flu vax while I was pregnant and she said that the ACOG recommends it but that I should go home and research it!  Have you asked employee health if you can just wear a mask for flu season?

 

I wish you the best of luck with this.

 

 

post #13 of 23

I got my very first flu shot while pregnant. It was from the hospital I worked at and was thimerasol free, I even read the package insert. No reaction and kiddo is just fine

 

post #14 of 23

I've gotten flu shots twice while pregnant.  No problems.

post #15 of 23
Thread Starter 

Okay, I just got my letter from the hospital.

 

It IS a requirement for continued employment from now until who knows when. Yes this is wrong in every way and yes if I were able to be unemployed I would sue them.

 

The deadline for getting said crap injected into me and my growing fetus is Dec 1. I will be 19w3d.

 

So, unless my OB will give me an out (which I highly doubt since the CDC seems to think pregnant women need all vaccines), I will be getting my shot on Nov 30th. I hope this is far enough along that there will be no ill effects on the baby.

post #16 of 23

Is it possible to find a new doctor? I'm so sorry you have to go through this greensad.gif

post #17 of 23
i'd buy the shot, tell the pharm that a coworker will administer it, submit the reciept and dispose of the shot. The flu that went around last year wasnt even close to what was in the shot. Not worth the risk imho.

Ps i had a flu shot when i was pregnant. Ds has aspergers. If i knew then what i know now....
post #18 of 23
Thread Starter 

I do not want to switch OBs. I completely trust this group and they have delivered my other two babies.

 

I have thought about all kinds of deceptive things, but if I were to be 'found out' I would get fired on the spot.

 

My question is, every flu insert says this: "Safety and effectiveness of FLU*** have not been established in pregnant women, nursing mothers or children less than 4 years of age. (8.1, 8.3, 8.4)" so how can they expect me to just jump in line for this shot?  
 

post #19 of 23

Can you stall until delivery?

 

It takes a while to fire people in most places.  Write them a letter near the final day and say what the package insert says and that you do not feel comfortable with the shot given the lack of testing on pregnant women.  Go through official channels of  making a complaint and your job will (probably) be held while they sort it out.  Do you have a union?  Is refusal of a shot grounds for dismissal?  I know they say it is, but are you sure they are not just using it as a scare tactic?  Have you spoken to human resources?  

 

Maybe I am an optimist but I have seen institutions try to push people around....if you stand up for yourself (at least try) you might get what you want.  Good luck!

 

 


Edited by purslaine - 8/30/11 at 6:44pm
post #20 of 23
it's probably best to go thru the proper channels. Even with the threat of firing people i seriously doubt they will get 100% compliance. Are there any docs who are against this? Any coworkers? The first person i ever heard antivax stuff from was a nurse. I really doubt that you are the only one. Can you look into switching jobs? Work for a different company? Do homecare? Take vacation time or early mat leave while the heat is coming down on firing people... This is something you're going to face every year working for that hospital. Ugh. Hope everything works out okay for you.t's probably best to go thru the proper channels. Even with the threat of firing people i seriously doubt they will get 100% compliance. Are there any docs who are against this? Any coworkers? The first person i ever heard antivax stuff from was a nurse. I really doubt that you are the only one. Can you look into switching jobs? Work for a different company? Do homecare? Take vacation time or early mat leave while the heat is coming down on firing people... This is something you're going to face every year working for that hospital. Ugh. Hope everything works out okay for you.
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