Have you ever felt pressured into a flu shot by your co-workers? I know that I have. In fact, when I used to work in the corporate America grind, I got denounced as being “scared of needles” and “irresponsible” for rejecting a flu shot at the office. I get the flu occasionally, however, I tend to rely on a healthy diet and some daily Vitamin C to do the trick for me. I’m not a fan of injecting anything into me unless absolutely necessary. I’ve never deemed a flu shot as being in such an urgent category.
But for many American workers, being ridiculed over their decision to pass on a flu shot is the least of their concerns. Some reject a flu shot at their own employment peril. Yes, some employees in the health care industry are fired for not taking a flu shot.
One Republican Representative, Christina Hagan of Ohio, has introduced a bill to put an end to such penalty. Hagan says there isn’t sufficient logic behind terminating any employee, including those in health care, for rejecting the flu shot injection.
“I think it’s wise to rely on data and there is no data that drives the opposition’s assumption,” Hagan stated on Stat News. Hagan believes that people can still get the flu even after they’ve been flu vaccinated. She also believes the flu shot carries with it risks of illness and even death. Hagan says she wants to “empower Ohioans.”
“This legislation is necessary to preserve the autonomy of the individual,” said Hagan.
There are a couple of items worth noting here:
- She’s introduced similar legislation in the past. However, some believe that the time is ripe for passing such a bill, particularly post-Trump era. House Bill 193 passed a House committee on Tuesday, so it has legs.
- Every major health care provider in Ohio is viciously fighting the bill.
Hagan is most concerned with civil liberty violations. Hagan notes the fall out from an Erie, Pennslyvania hospital, who fired six employees for not complying with flu shot policy, having to rehire those same employees after facing litigation. The six employees claimed that religious beliefs prevented them from accepting flu shots.
CEO of Nationwide Children’s Hospital, Dr. Steve Allen, said, “greatly undermines (Children’s) ability to safely and appropriately care for our patients and families, while also putting the health of our employees at risk.” Dr. Allen contends that flu shots are safe and effective. However, Hagan is backed by the Ohio Advocates for Medical Freedom. It isn’t as if she has no arsenal in her back pocket.
A Pediatric hospital pharmacist in Uniontown says that flu shots are forced on hospital workers due to the federal government essentially bullying the hospitals into the requirement.
“I hate to burst everyone’s bubble, but flu vaccines do not stop the transmission of any virus outside the body,” she said.
“Both vaccinated and unvaccinated people can spread viruses and bacteria by coughing on or touching a contaminated door knob or surface and then touching hospital equipment or the patients themselves.”
Beyond any debate over the efficacy of flu shots, we should be incredibly concerned that we are in a place where fighting for our civil liberties and medical freedom is in such peril. We should have the right to choose our own path, such as whether or not we want to take a flu shot. Employees should not be pushed around, or fired, for deciding against a flu shot, even if that reason is that they just do not want one. Every person should have the right to choose their own medical path.