work requiring flu/H1N1 vaccine *update post # 66* - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 79 Old 09-09-2010, 01:49 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I just saw this info on our hospital's homepage (where dh and work as RN's) and I feel sick and angry . They are implementing a new policy that requires all employees to be vaccinated for the flu (which will also containe H1N1 vaccine). They are stating that this is being put into place because it has been proven that unvaccinated healthcare workers can spread flu to patients etc.

In the past we have been allowed to have personal/philosophical exemption. The letter states that you will now only be allowed to have medical exemption or religious. To be medically exempt you need to have a form signed by your doctor and documentation to support that you medically cannot have the vaccine (allergy, Guillan-Barre syndrome etc). To have religous exemption you have to have a form signed by a clergy member. Then all of these "requests for exemption" will go before a board and you will be notified if they are approved or not. Ugh

If you don't get your exemption approved or don't comply then there will be "disciplinary action".

I don't know what to do. We don't believe in vaccines and our kids are not vaccinated. I am more bothered by the fact that they can tell me, as an adult, what I have to put into my body.

I don't have any true medical reason not to recieve it. We are spiritual, but do not belong to any formal religous group, so I have no clergy. I suppose I could approach someone at the local Unitarian church to see if they could help.

I am sooooo bothered by this! Any help/ideas/info would be very appreciated. I live in Colorado if that makes any difference.

TIA!

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#2 of 79 Old 09-09-2010, 04:10 PM
 
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Wish and I work at the same hospital, so see my thread here as well .

I spoke with the head of employee health earlier today when I was at work and she told me that they are aiming for herd immunity and getting 98% of us vaccinated. I guess that they figure that there are 2% of employees for whom they will not be able to deny exemptions. I'll let you know if I'm in that 2%.
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#3 of 79 Old 09-10-2010, 10:57 AM
 
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That is totally unconstitutional! I hope you can gigure this out. I think I would quit before I was forced to get a flu shot every year. Can you imagine the cumulative damage that will do? I would not go down without one hell of a fight though!

If the people let government decide what foods they eat and what medicines they take, their bodies will soon be in as sorry a state as are the souls of those who live under tyranny." Thomas Jefferson.

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#4 of 79 Old 09-10-2010, 12:42 PM
 
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http://www.naturalnews.com/029706_he...flu_shots.html

in case you are not a subscriber to Mike's page, here is a parent article

http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/doi...10.1086/656558

Look for links to other HCP and people that work in the hospitals without any patient contact (there was a thread here recently about a person not directly involved with patients being told she had to get the shot too). If enough people voice their concerns, perhaps this will be an avenue to educate the public through awareness that HCP do not want to take the vaccine. I do believe this is a constitutional breach and the way is being paved for forced vaccinations for all. But I do not believe it will happen. Too many people are awake and aware now. I feel for you having to be the example, the Rosa Parks of this happening. I agree with a pp, I would quit before taking the shot, but I know that is not so easy in today's economy. And, it shouldn't come to that. If there is a group that protects people's constitutional rights, like maybe the ACLU (I don't know, just maybe they are the right group), perhaps they will be up for joining the forces and tackling this invasion of rights.

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#5 of 79 Old 09-10-2010, 12:47 PM
 
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I remember reading on here about a church you can join for a religious exemption. I could not remember the name. Here is a page I found on vac lib with a few churches listed.

http://www.vaclib.org/links/religion.htm#churches

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#6 of 79 Old 09-10-2010, 01:21 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks everyone! Right now my dh and I are feeling like we will not get the shot and take the consequences as they come. If that means a new job or relocation, we are open to that right now. But, we are going to fight it

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#7 of 79 Old 09-10-2010, 01:44 PM
 
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A friend of mine was given the option of wearing a mask. She chose that option and when she was asked why she told patients it was because she refused the flu shot because she ( at the time) was pregnant.

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#8 of 79 Old 09-10-2010, 05:48 PM
 
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The hospital I work at (HCA) required seasonal flu shots or masks last year. I'm sure it is the same this year. Wasn't there a group of nurses in a union that were fighting the shot/mask rule last year? I never heard how that turned out.


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#9 of 79 Old 09-11-2010, 02:25 PM
 
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I'm really in trouble at this point. I can tell that I.S. at the hospital has been going through my computer b/c someone changed my outgoing signature on my emails btwn last night and this morning. I had a signature that listed my job title slightly differently than my technical title. That was changed to my exact title on record. It doesn't really make that big of a difference to me, but it is a clue that someone is going through my emails and possibly my computer.

I can't say that I've never checked my home email from work, but I also check my work emails from home regularly (and respond to them). I hope that I'm not being paranoid, but I really think that they are trying to find a reason to fire me (such as being on the computer in a non-work related manner). If they can get rid of me for some reason other than this vaccine issue, it will save them the grief of my vocal opposition.

I'm at home today. I can tell about the signature b/c I forwarded myself the emails I sent HR & other management at work to my home email address early this morning when I checked work email from home. The messages had an altered signature so I went back into my work email and checked the outgoing signature and, yes, it was changed by someone other than me.
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#10 of 79 Old 09-11-2010, 02:37 PM
 
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Is this the time to talk more to your attorney friend and start documenting things? And getting hard copies (if you don't have them) of performance evaluations and things like that?

I'm so sorry you're going through this. I hope it turns out better than the worst case scenario.
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#11 of 79 Old 09-11-2010, 02:54 PM
 
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We will be talking with an atty. I have copies of the emails and can hopefully hunt down evals and everything else. I do have a ltr from the CEO of the hospital (not the health system) from earlier in the year praising me for helping save a woman outside of work who went into cardiac arrest. Someone who was at the scene wrote him about it. I'll get together what I can but I think that the reality of it is that I'm not going to be there much longer.

I find it unfortunate that an organization that claims to value employee culture is bullying me for speaking out.
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#12 of 79 Old 09-11-2010, 06:19 PM - Thread Starter
 
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So much for that "top 100 places to work" thing

We are having a tough time with all of this too. I applaud you for all you write on the website, it is always well thought out and polite. I talked with my dad last night and he says "just get the shot, your job is more important". Ugh. My dh is starting to look at the money and getting freaked out, feeling we have to keep our jobs. I'm all for just selling/renting out the house and working else where, closer to family.

It's just insane that they are getting in your email etc. Like they are sending a little "warning" or something. I have heard that you have to be careful with your work email, like if you swear in an email, you get a nasty gram from someone in I.S. And if it makes you feel better, I'm on the internet all the time at work. Sometimes work related, sometimes not .

A good friend of mine went to employee health and asked to see her records. The nurse there looked through her past nine years and said "right here, in 2004 you took the vaccine, so we know you can't be exempt". She also told her they are aware of all the religions that do/don't allow vaccines and if you are "christian" it's ok to have the vaccine. Our organization has hit an all new level.

I hope we get some answers soon. I check the blog all the time to see who has responded, trying to get an update. I think it's ok to be vocal on the blog, it's more documented fuel for your side of the case.

I think it's just ridiculous that we have to be going through this at all.
Can't we still be good health care providers and have our own personal beliefs?

Right now, I'm planning to keep fighting it.

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#13 of 79 Old 09-12-2010, 02:34 AM
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I don't have any true medical reason not to recieve it.
Then I think that you should receive it, in order not to subject your patients to extra risk due to your personal lifestyle choices.

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We are spiritual, but do not belong to any formal religous group, so I have no clergy. I suppose I could approach someone at the local Unitarian church to see if they could help.
If you do, make sure to tell them that you have no religious basis for an exemption. I think most religious people would tend to look down on being asked to lie in such a situation.
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#14 of 79 Old 09-12-2010, 02:41 AM
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I think it's just ridiculous that we have to be going through this at all. Can't we still be good health care providers and have our own personal beliefs?
Health-care institutions strive to improve the level of care on an ongoing basis, which includes reducing risk. Your employer wants you to be vaccinated because you will present less of a risk to your patients. You will be a better health care provider when you present less of a risk. As a patient, wouldn't you always want to be treated by someone who, all else being equal, presented less of a risk of infecting you?
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#15 of 79 Old 09-12-2010, 03:32 AM
 
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Health-care institutions strive to improve the level of care on an ongoing basis, which includes reducing risk. Your employer wants you to be vaccinated because you will present less of a risk to your patients. You will be a better health care provider when you present less of a risk.
But they assume that getting vaccinated is the only way to not get the flu, when it's not.

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As a patient, wouldn't you always want to be treated by someone who, all else being equal, presented less of a risk of infecting you?
I'd rather be treated by ChristaN, who I know keeps up-to-date with good health and nutrition information, than someone who blindly gets vaccinated with no other awareness about how to be healthy (which seems to be the majority of people in the health "care" industry).

My biggest issue, though, is that no one has the right to force medication on another, especially in the workplace. Jeez, what country are we in? I'm reminded of that song "This is not America."

I think the anti-vax movement needs to seriously start promoting this as a rights issue, in addition to arguing about the science aspect of it.

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#16 of 79 Old 09-12-2010, 03:56 AM
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But they assume that getting vaccinated is the only way to not get the flu, when it's not.
There's always dumb luck, or living in the wilderness.

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I'd rather be treated by ChristaN, who I know keeps up-to-date with good health and nutrition information
Not all of it.

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My biggest issue, though, is that no one has the right to force medication on another
Nobody forces her to work as a nurse. And actually there are situations in which people do have the right to force medications on others-- they're just rare.
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#17 of 79 Old 09-12-2010, 10:11 AM
 
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I'm not a nurse nor a direct patient care provider. I have no patient contact actually. I do have a Masters degree in Public Health so I have a fairly reasonable amount of education on vaccination. I still choose not to receive this vaccine due to personal beliefs. I also believe that the risks of this vaccine outweigh it's benefits, but the reason I have given every year for declining it is that I am vegan and the components of the vaccine are a major issue for me.

Dumb luck or living in the wilderness are not the only means of avoiding influenza other than vaccination. Hand washing is a major one. Covering sneezing, not coming to work when you are sick... There are a lot of ways of avoiding infection other than becoming a hermit in the wilderness.

Our employer is not requiring student nurses who treat patients to get vaccinated. They are not requiring contract physicians who treat patients to get vaccinated. They are requiring a secretary who works in the administration hall in a building across the street from the hospital to get vaccinated. How does this makes sense?

Basically, if you are an employee you must get the vaccine or get fired. If you are not an employee but you are still in our facility interacting with patients, we advise it but we won't revoke your privileges for not getting it.
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#18 of 79 Old 09-12-2010, 10:42 AM
 
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nm

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#19 of 79 Old 09-12-2010, 10:58 AM
 
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Our employer is not requiring student nurses who treat patients to get vaccinated. They are not requiring contract physicians who treat patients to get vaccinated. They are requiring a secretary who works in the administration hall in a building across the street from the hospital to get vaccinated. How does this makes sense?
.
I refused the flu shot (worked in hospital) and had to take a month and a half off unpaid. That was my only choice.

Physicians were not forced to get the shot.....because I am in Northern Canada, and we are hard up for Doc's...so if half of them didn't get the shot....what would we do?

But for me....they just sent letters threatening..I think 112 employees refused and after a month....almost all of them gave in.

I was pregnant at the time...and they did offer for me to take Tamiflu for the duration of the outbreak.
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#20 of 79 Old 09-12-2010, 11:07 AM
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Okay, I've completely changed my mind at least with regard to ChristaN. I think I was conflating this with the OP's separate situation, a nurse who is refusing a shot. It just plain doesn't make sense to require someone with little patient contact to get the shot, while allowing others who treat patients directly not to get it. It won't have much of a positive impact on health, and it's very unfair.

And momtoS, I think it was a crappy thing to do, to offer you Tamiflu while pregnant.
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#21 of 79 Old 09-12-2010, 11:18 AM
 
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A friend of mine was given the option of wearing a mask. She chose that option and when she was asked why she told patients it was because she refused the flu shot because she ( at the time) was pregnant.
That's what I did last year. I'm still on leave now, but I go back to work next month... I wonder what this year will bring?

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#22 of 79 Old 09-12-2010, 11:40 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Okay, I've completely changed my mind at least with regard to ChristaN. I think I was conflating this with the OP's separate situation, a nurse who is refusing a shot. It just plain doesn't make sense to require someone with little patient contact to get the shot, while allowing others who treat patients directly not to get it. It won't have much of a positive impact on health, and it's very unfair.

And momtoS, I think it was a crappy thing to do, to offer you Tamiflu while pregnant.
When I started the thread it was the first day of the new mandated vaccine and my head was all over the place, so I just want to try an summarize better.

I do work as an RN at the same hospital as ChristaN. The job I have though is as a "desk nurse", so I am not providing direct patient care. My personal belief is no vaccinations for my family, but I'm not against vaccines. It's just not what our family chooses.

I feel with our work situation that we should have the right to choose. I don't think having all employees in the health system get vaccinated is going to stop the spread of the flu. Any other patient or doctor or visitor could have stopped at walmart prior to coming to the hospital, pushed buttons in the elevator, sneezed, whatever, and spread the flu to the person in the wheelchair next to them. Of course I don't hope that anyone gets sick. But you can get just as sick as soon as you walk out of the hospital and go to the grocery store (and people are probably going to continue to get groceries).

I should not have posted that I would ask a clergy member for support like that. I just wasn't thinking straight at that time.

Ok, probably rambling, sorry.

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#23 of 79 Old 09-12-2010, 11:46 AM
 
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Our employer is not requiring student nurses who treat patients to get vaccinated. They are not requiring contract physicians who treat patients to get vaccinated. They are requiring a secretary who works in the administration hall in a building across the street from the hospital to get vaccinated. How does this makes sense?
What about the pharmaceutical reps who come to the hospital to sell meds, including these vaccines? Do they need to show proof of vaccination or an approved exemption?

Do you think that there are enough people objecting for a significant walk-out? I would think that the threat of losing even 4-5 prized employees would be enough to make them rethink their policy.

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#24 of 79 Old 09-12-2010, 11:53 AM
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Iucounu, you say you shouldn't be exposed to flu due to her "personal choices." But she objects to vaccines; why should she be exposed to them due to your personal desires?
Not just my personal desires, but quite valid public policy reasons. I shouldn't be put at risk because of a health care provider's religion or "philosophy"; they should exit the health care field if their personal beliefs wind up putting others at increased risk.
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#25 of 79 Old 09-12-2010, 12:06 PM
 
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Not getting a flu shot does NOT put people at a higher risk of contracting the flu from them.

I have never received a flu shot. Dh has never received one. My kids have never received one. Dh & one of my kids are at risk people(MS and heart condition).

We never got the H1N1 shot.

My 3 kids are all in public school. I work in a different school than my kids are plus I sub in 8 other schools. All of these schools had confirmed cases of H1N1 last year. In my kids school in it went through the school grade by grade where there'd suddenly be 13 kids gone.

There hasn't been a flu in our house in 8 years.

ChristaN - I'd be saving screen shots of the Blog you've been posting on. If something does happen those posts may happen to just disappear.

Since you do not work as a nurse are in a seperate building AND have no contact with patients with this requirement(and no requirement for the dr's, etc), the blog, etc if they do fire you for a different reason you probably have a legal case.

What does the union say about this "requirement"?
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#26 of 79 Old 09-12-2010, 12:35 PM
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That's a grade-A anecdote, there. Public health decisions can't be made on the basis that some people report not getting sick despite avoiding vaccinations, or that homeopathic remedies are self-reported to have worked in someone else's household, etc.
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#27 of 79 Old 09-12-2010, 01:19 PM - Thread Starter
 
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ChristaN~ I would love to know how many of us there really are that would consider leaving/termination? Maybe it's more than we think and it could have a really big impact.

Also, what was the end result last year with the New York nurses? I know there were lawsuits but never heard what happened.

I think instead of all of us (the larger "us") arguing over to vaccinate or not, my health is more important than your job etc. is that it comes down to rights and personal choice. Also, what happens to the pt that chooses not to receive the flu shot when offered at the hospital? We allow them to have the right to refuse.

So sure implement it now for new employees, then they are making informed decision. But I think those of us who have been there (10 years for me!) should be given the choice if we want to inject something into our bodies or not without fear of losing our jobs.

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#28 of 79 Old 09-12-2010, 01:35 PM
 
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Not just my personal desires, but quite valid public policy reasons. I shouldn't be put at risk because of a health care provider's religion or "philosophy"; they should exit the health care field if their personal beliefs wind up putting others at increased risk.
http://www2.cochrane.org/reviews/en/ab001269.html

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#29 of 79 Old 09-12-2010, 01:57 PM
 
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ChristaN~ I would love to know how many of us there really are that would consider leaving/termination? Maybe it's more than we think and it could have a really big impact.

Also, what was the end result last year with the New York nurses? I know there were lawsuits but never heard what happened.
I don't know. If you know of anyone other than you and me, let me know. I know a lot of co-workers who don't want it, but none of them have indicated a willingness to risk losing their jobs over it.

In re to the NY cases, I understand that they were granted a temporary restraining order but it never went to trial after that. The state dropped the requirement for all healthcare workers to get the vaccine due to supply issues or at least that was the reason they gave. The TRO might set some precedent, though:

http://lawandbiosciences.wordpress.c...-vaccinations/

http://lawandbiosciences.wordpress.c...ate-suspended/
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#30 of 79 Old 09-12-2010, 02:04 PM
 
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Also, what was the end result last year with the New York nurses? I know there were lawsuits but never heard what happened.
This came up on the other thread. As I posted there,

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They got a TRO, but it never came to a hearing on the merits. (Of course, having a union as plaintiff in two of the cases never hurts.) Still, New York was essentially a case of a state mandate, and only addressed H1N1.
[ETA.--Beaten to the punch!]
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