Originally Posted by Marnica
Gosh this is just dispicable. I could never work for an organization like this! I mean there are people that have had severe life threatening reactions to the flu shot or are deathly allergic to eggs. You're telling me those people would be fired for refusing the flu shot? How can that be? I can see them refusing a religious exemption (I dont agree with it, but I know they can do it) but a verifiable medical problem? I can't see how that is legal?
Employees who were hired before the clause and had existing exemptions were grandfathered in--in that they don't loose their jobs. However, during flu season they are required to work in non-patient care areas and must still wear masks. This means that clinicians such as RNs end up working with laundry or doing office work during flu season.
For everyone else, you are explicitly told about the vaccine requirements before filling out the application, before a job offer is made, and before you sign the contract. It isn't hidden. People with known allergies to vaccine components don't apply or don't accept the job. It's unfortunate for sure because I'm certain that some quality care providers look elsewhere because of this. If you didn't know of an allergy, signed the contract, and then later found out about an allergy that would prevent you from getting the flu shot then you would loose your job. I don't know what kind of legal oomph is behind it--but it's a large organization, not a little community one.
For what it's worth, this isn't entirely unheard of. I went to nursing school in a different area of the country. I had a documented severe allergy to the pertussis vaccine as a child. I brought the documentation to the attention of the school dean (and this, again, was a large well-known private university). The response? Get the vaccine booster or forfeit your acceptance to the school. I ended up getting the vaccine, took some precautions, and didn't have too bad of a reaction this time around.
Wanting to work as a nurse and also wanting to refuse vaccines can be a very challenging road to walk down.