At least one employee has been fired to violate Mercury's policy that requires influenza vaccination, a hospital spokesman said on…
At least one employee has been fired to violate Mercury’s policy that requires influenza vaccination, a hospital spokesman said on Tuesday.
The nurse had received a religious exemption from the annual flu team while working for St. Anthony’s Medical Center before it was acquired by Mercy this year, according to the organizer of a protest outside Mercy South on Tuesday.
“This is the problem here, they declined the religious exemption,” said Nelia Aubuchon, who would only say she is close to the nurse who was terminated.
Mercy conducted its influenza mail policy in 201
6. This year, the company received 170 applications for medical or religious exemption for the flu vaccine among its 44,000 employees across four states. Although most applications were granted, employees were notified whose exemption was rejected this week according to a statement.
“The point of our influenza vaccination policy is simple: protection against the influenza virus saves lives, especially the most vulnerable patients,” says the statement.
influenza season 2017-2018 was the most serious decade, with an estimated 79,000 deaths and 960,000 hospital stays attributed to the virus. Below average vaccination rate (37 percent of adults) contributed to the disease, said Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
CDC recommends that all healthcare professionals get influenza conditions and say in a statement the mandatory vaccine policy “can improve patient safety . “
While the flu vaccine is not 100 percent effective to prevent the flu , it can still reduce the severity of symptoms and reduce the spread of infection against others. The hospital setting is particularly prone to an outbreak due to high risk patients – including pregnant women, newborns and chronic medical conditions – and suppressed immune systems, said a doctor.
More than two thirds of hospitals in the US require their employees to get flu shots. Vaccination rates in hospitals with flu states amount to 97 percent compared to 79 percent of workers in hospitals without such a rule, according to a survey of 2017 in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
In addition, Mercy, Local Health Systems BJC HealthCare and SSM Health have influenza requirements for employees that contain medical or religious reasons. BJC implemented the 2008 flu conditions for all employees. More than 98 percent of 26,000 BJC employees received the vaccine that year, and most others received exemptions. Eight employees were killed that year not to comply with the policy, according to an internal report. Updated figures were not available Tuesday.
Last year Essentia Health in Minnesota kicked about 50 employees who refused to receive influenza vaccines after a union representing some workers failed to get a ban on stopping the layoffs, according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune.
But the US Department of Justice has recently signaled resistance to vaccine mandates by a lawsuit filed earlier this year against a Wisconsin county who fired an assistant in a nursing home after refusing an influenza virus for religious reasons.