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Pregnant nurse: I was fired for refusing flu vaccine

Posted by on Dec. 30, 2013 at 12:25 AM
  • 206 Replies

Pregnant nurse: I was fired for refusing flu vaccine

By Allie Malloy, CNN
updated 6:40 PM EST, Sun December 29, 2013

Watch this video
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Dreonna Breton is a pregnant nurse who was working in Lancaster, Pennsylvania
  • She says she was fired from her job when she rejected taking a flu vaccine
  • It's unconscionable for a health care worker not to be immunized, employer says
  • Breton, who says she's had three miscarriages, fears vaccine could trigger another

(CNN) -- A pregnant nurse tells CNN she was fired from her job after she refused to get a flu shot for fear of miscarrying.

"I'm a healthy person. I take care of my body. For me, the potential risk was not worth it," Dreonna Breton told CNN Sunday. "I'm not gonna be the one percent of people that has a problem."

Breton, 29, worked as a nurse at Horizons Healthcare Services in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, when she was told that all employees were required to get a flu shot. The Centers of Disease Control and Prevention advises that all health care professionals get vaccinated annually.

She told her employers that she would not get the vaccine after she explained that there were very limited studies of the effects on pregnant women.

Breton came to the decision with her family after three miscarriages.

The mother of one submitted letters from her obstetrician and primary care doctor supporting her decision, but she was told that she would be fired on December 17 if she did not receive the vaccine before then.

Horizons Healthcare Services spokesman Alan Peterson told CNN affiliate WPVI that it's unconscionable for a health care worker not to be immunized and that pregnant women are more susceptible to the flu.

The CDC website states that getting a flu shot while pregnant is the best protection for pregnant women and their babies.

"I know that the CDC says to get it, and that's fine, but it was our choice to avoid the flu vaccine and the unknowns that come with that," Breton said.

Breton offered to wear a face mask at work, a practice that is used if employees are exempted for religious reasons. The hospital did not approve, according to Breton.

Breton has no interest in taking legal action, she said. She stated she only wants the company to reevaluate their policy on vaccines for pregnant employees and to continue working as a nurse.

National Woman's Party


by on Dec. 30, 2013 at 12:25 AM
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Replies (1-10):
jllcali
by on Dec. 30, 2013 at 3:47 AM
Recurrent spontaneous abortions are very often due to congenital uterine anomalies, hopefully she is being evaluated for the cause.

This is puzzling to me because most hospitals have exemptions and require employees who refuse to wear face masks.
Debmomto2girls
by on Dec. 30, 2013 at 7:38 AM

My hospital required the flu vaccine or be fired. We knew this and it wasn't a shock. However, there were exemptions lie religious reasons or a note from a doctor listing a valid reason. 

cjsbmom
by Lois Lane on Dec. 30, 2013 at 8:45 AM

There should always be exemptions to something like this. Make her wear a face mask instead. It will protect both her and her patients. 

VooDooB
by The Corrupter on Dec. 30, 2013 at 8:50 AM
4 moms liked this

This happened to me a few years ago when I was several months pregnant. I worked in the insurance & billing department in the hospital. No patient contact whatsoever but hospital still required the flu shot for all employees. It being a Class C Drug, and me with a brutal miscarriage the year before; well....obviously I wasn't comfortable with it. I got around it though. After telling my midwife about it at my OB clinic, she billed my insurance company for a flu shot - that I never received. I took the statement into my human resources department, explained I recieved the vaccine off site, and was cleared. Even got my flu shot sticker on my ID badge. Did we lie? Yep. Did I care? Nope. I never went back to work after I had my baby a few months later and it's history.

Debmomto2girls
by on Dec. 30, 2013 at 9:01 AM
2 moms liked this

Your midwife billed for a flu shot she didn't give? That is insurance fraud. I'm surprised she would risk her licensing.

Quoting VooDooB:

This happened to me a few years ago when I was several months pregnant. I worked in the insurance & billing department in the hospital. No patient contact whatsoever but hospital still required the flu shot for all employees. It being a Class C Drug, and me with a brutal miscarriage the year before; well....obviously I wasn't comfortable with it. I got around it though. After telling my midwife about it at my OB clinic, she billed my insurance company for a flu shot - that I never received. I took the statement into my human resources department, explained I recieved the vaccine off site, and was cleared. Even got my flu shot sticker on my ID badge. Did we lie? Yep. Did I care? Nope. I never went back to work after I had my baby a few months later and it's history.


VooDooB
by The Corrupter on Dec. 30, 2013 at 9:09 AM
2 moms liked this

 Yep she did. And she did for others, too. She thought she was doing the right thing. I agree, especially in my case. I had no patient contact. I was pregnant. Flu shot is a Class C Drug. There was no reason why I should have been forced to receive it. If the girl in the cubical next to me could refuse it citing a religious reason then I had every right to do what I needed to do to protect my body and my baby. Luckily my midwife helped me.

Quoting Debmomto2girls:

Your midwife billed for a flu shot she didn't give? That is insurance fraud. I'm surprised she would risk her licensing.

Quoting VooDooB:

This happened to me a few years ago when I was several months pregnant. I worked in the insurance & billing department in the hospital. No patient contact whatsoever but hospital still required the flu shot for all employees. It being a Class C Drug, and me with a brutal miscarriage the year before; well....obviously I wasn't comfortable with it. I got around it though. After telling my midwife about it at my OB clinic, she billed my insurance company for a flu shot - that I never received. I took the statement into my human resources department, explained I recieved the vaccine off site, and was cleared. Even got my flu shot sticker on my ID badge. Did we lie? Yep. Did I care? Nope. I never went back to work after I had my baby a few months later and it's history.


 

Debmomto2girls
by on Dec. 30, 2013 at 9:28 AM

I'm not arguing she thought she is doing the right thing. But, if she is ever caught she will lose her license and be charged in Federal court and she will do time.

Quoting VooDooB:

 Yep she did. And she did for others, too. She thought she was doing the right thing. I agree, especially in my case. I had no patient contact. I was pregnant. Flu shot is a Class C Drug. There was no reason why I should have been forced to receive it. If the girl in the cubical next to me could refuse it citing a religious reason then I had every right to do what I needed to do to protect my body and my baby. Luckily my midwife helped me.

Quoting Debmomto2girls:

Your midwife billed for a flu shot she didn't give? That is insurance fraud. I'm surprised she would risk her licensing.

Quoting VooDooB:

This happened to me a few years ago when I was several months pregnant. I worked in the insurance & billing department in the hospital. No patient contact whatsoever but hospital still required the flu shot for all employees. It being a Class C Drug, and me with a brutal miscarriage the year before; well....obviously I wasn't comfortable with it. I got around it though. After telling my midwife about it at my OB clinic, she billed my insurance company for a flu shot - that I never received. I took the statement into my human resources department, explained I recieved the vaccine off site, and was cleared. Even got my flu shot sticker on my ID badge. Did we lie? Yep. Did I care? Nope. I never went back to work after I had my baby a few months later and it's history.




VooDooB
by The Corrupter on Dec. 30, 2013 at 9:29 AM

Oh well.

Quoting Debmomto2girls:

I'm not arguing she thought she is doing the right thing. But, if she is ever caught she will lose her license and be charged in Federal court and she will do time.

Quoting VooDooB:

 Yep she did. And she did for others, too. She thought she was doing the right thing. I agree, especially in my case. I had no patient contact. I was pregnant. Flu shot is a Class C Drug. There was no reason why I should have been forced to receive it. If the girl in the cubical next to me could refuse it citing a religious reason then I had every right to do what I needed to do to protect my body and my baby. Luckily my midwife helped me.

Quoting Debmomto2girls:

Your midwife billed for a flu shot she didn't give? That is insurance fraud. I'm surprised she would risk her licensing.

Quoting VooDooB:

This happened to me a few years ago when I was several months pregnant. I worked in the insurance & billing department in the hospital. No patient contact whatsoever but hospital still required the flu shot for all employees. It being a Class C Drug, and me with a brutal miscarriage the year before; well....obviously I wasn't comfortable with it. I got around it though. After telling my midwife about it at my OB clinic, she billed my insurance company for a flu shot - that I never received. I took the statement into my human resources department, explained I recieved the vaccine off site, and was cleared. Even got my flu shot sticker on my ID badge. Did we lie? Yep. Did I care? Nope. I never went back to work after I had my baby a few months later and it's history.


 


 

Debmomto2girls
by on Dec. 30, 2013 at 9:31 AM
1 mom liked this

Oh well? Nice.

Quoting VooDooB:

Oh well.

Quoting Debmomto2girls:

I'm not arguing she thought she is doing the right thing. But, if she is ever caught she will lose her license and be charged in Federal court and she will do time.

Quoting VooDooB:

 Yep she did. And she did for others, too. She thought she was doing the right thing. I agree, especially in my case. I had no patient contact. I was pregnant. Flu shot is a Class C Drug. There was no reason why I should have been forced to receive it. If the girl in the cubical next to me could refuse it citing a religious reason then I had every right to do what I needed to do to protect my body and my baby. Luckily my midwife helped me.

Quoting Debmomto2girls:

Your midwife billed for a flu shot she didn't give? That is insurance fraud. I'm surprised she would risk her licensing.

Quoting VooDooB:

This happened to me a few years ago when I was several months pregnant. I worked in the insurance & billing department in the hospital. No patient contact whatsoever but hospital still required the flu shot for all employees. It being a Class C Drug, and me with a brutal miscarriage the year before; well....obviously I wasn't comfortable with it. I got around it though. After telling my midwife about it at my OB clinic, she billed my insurance company for a flu shot - that I never received. I took the statement into my human resources department, explained I recieved the vaccine off site, and was cleared. Even got my flu shot sticker on my ID badge. Did we lie? Yep. Did I care? Nope. I never went back to work after I had my baby a few months later and it's history.






.Bubbles.
by on Dec. 30, 2013 at 9:35 AM
3 moms liked this
This is a very common rule for those employed in hospitals. I understand where this woman was coming from, but she made a choice knowing it would mean losing her job.
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