For most...getting a flu shot is voluntary. But for some...employers have made it mandatory.
And for those who refuse the vaccine, an unemployment check could be right around the corner.
Eight health workers in Indiana are currently unemployed...having been fired by their companies for not getting a mandatory flu shot.
??I knew that I could not compromise my personal belief system for a job,?? explained Joyce Gingerich to The Elkhart Truth newspaper.
Gingerich had worked as an oncology nurse at IU Health Goshen Hospital on and off since 1987. ??It was really sad to leave that job. In all my years of nursing, it was my favorite.?? she said.
In September, the hospital informed its staff that flu shots would no longer be optional.
Beginning this year, all of the hospital??s staff, affiliated physicians, volunteers and vendors are required to receive a flu vaccination or apply for an exemption.
The hospital set the requirements based on a recommendation from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or CDC, the American Medical Association and other major regulatory health agencies, hospital spokeswoman Melanie McDonald told The Elkhart Truth.
??As a hospital and health system, our top priority is and should be patient safety, and we know that hospitalized people with compromised immune systems are at a greater risk for illness and death from the flu,?? McDonald said. ??The flu has the highest death rate of any vaccine preventable disease, and it would be irresponsible from our perspective for health care providers to ignore that."
Other hospitals, including Elkhart General Hospital and South Bend Memorial, have introduced similar measures this year according to the article.
At Elkhart General Hospital, flu shots are now mandatory for anyone who regularly enters the hospital including all medical staff, paid employees, students, vendors and volunteers, said EGH spokeswoman Shelley Rody.
Rody said four people at EGH chose not to receive a flu vaccination but could not confirm whether they were still employed by the hospital.
Do you think its okay to fire someone for not getting a flu shot?