Hi- Just received a blanket email yesterday that my hospital in VA is requiring ALL STAFF involved in patient care to get the flu vaccine this year. (incl nurses, physicians, clinical aides etc) I always get the vaccine voluntarily but feels wrong that this can be mandated. I still intend to get it. Is this legal? I remember something similar involving a group of NY Nurses some time back.
The hospice that I work for is also considering mandating the vaccine for all clinical and social service staff in direct patient contact. I can see the logic in it, but there are some other things that employers are not considering.
Every year I choose not to get a flu vaccine because I have a history of not so great reactions to them. I don't have details, but I did poorly after all my childhood immunizations. I never had chicken pox as a kid, and almost flunked out of nursing school when I missed a week after my varicella vaccine. That was fun...sorry, can't come out and play, I have the chicken pox. (I was 25.) If a vaccine has the potential to cause viremia, I get it, and bad too. Hence after my second bad flu shot experience, I have chosen to "work without a net" as it were.
When I suggested to my employer that I would be willing to get a flu shot IF they agreed in writing that any time I missed as a result of receiving the vaccination would be paid, and would NOT be deducted from my available sick/vacation time, they looked at me as though I had finally lost my mind. Sorry, but I feel it is completely unreasonable to mandate I (or anyone else) do something that has a likelyhood of causing them to miss work, and then penalize them for it if they do. My sick leave is for when I get sick, not for when they make me sick. I'm not sure how bigger employers are handling that concern, but it IS something worth considering.
Last edit by Maliffy on Sep 17, '11
: Reason: edited to correct typo