Company Fires 50 Employees Over Refusal to get Flu Shots

Keely Sharp
Written by Keely Sharp

A Minnesota medical provider let 50 employees go after the workers refused to get flu shots.

According to KBJR, Essentia Health set a deadline for all employees to get a flu shot or provide an exemption showing medical or religious reasons for not getting one. After hitting the deadline, five dozen employees still had not gotten the shot and were therefore fired.

This sounds like an absolute overstepping of authority if you ask me. Many people, myself included, do not enjoy having toxins injected into our bodies. If I were one of those employees, I would have lost my job as well.

I’ve never had a flu shot in my life and I never will.

WSBTV reports: 

 

Since September, Essentia employees, volunteers, students and vendors had three choices: get a flu shot, show an approved religious or medical exemption, or leave the company, KBJR reported.

Essentia chief of patient quality and safety Dr. Rajesh Prabhu said the company wanted to increase patient safety and boost its 82 percent flu vaccination rate from 2016, which he said was not going to increase voluntarily.

“Purely voluntary or more education doesn’t get you those high levels of immunization compliance and as you know other states, other health care organizations have done the same thing we have,” he said.

Prabhu said that as of Tuesday, 99.5 percent of employees have chosen the first two options, but 50 so far have been terminated with more left waiting to hear back on their exemptions.

Minnesota Nurses Association Duluth chairman Steve Strand said with so many employees in limbo, his union doesn’t know how many members may have lost their jobs yet.

“We believe that they will be denying some of those, and then those individuals may end up terminated also,” Strand continued, “The flu shot isn’t a be-all end-all, it only has a certain efficacy.”

Essential is standing firm by it’s decision to let the employees go. Prabhu said, “People may debate on how effective that is but based on what the level of evidence is and what our peers are doing, we thought this was the best way to protect our patients.”

Do you think this is fair?

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Keely Sharp

Keely Sharp

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