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Pregnant nurse: ‘I was fired for refusing flu vaccine’

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Flu shot (Stock photo)

PENNSYLVANIA — 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

10 comments

    • Ken

      Looks like your name says it all. If that is the case, why comment if you dont care?. And yes, it is her body and her decision. Not yours,mine or any companies. It is her body. She does what she feels is the best for her and her unborn baby. Being in the professional business of health care and knowing that she takes care of herself unlike alot of other people, shows real responsibility.

  • Ken

    With a history of miscarriages, it seems they would understand and chances of yet another and should honor he decision reguardless of “policy”. That is what is 1 of the many things wrong with this warped country. The insurance and other agencies are playing doctor and shouldn’t be. This nurse is making an intelliegent decision to help protect her unborn baby and it is being held against her.

  • David

    Sounds to me that Horizons is bowing to the possible threat of lawsuit by any party claiming infection of the flu from a Horizons employee who was allowed to work despite not have the vaccination.

    • lisa

      It also says….”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.” So it seems some employees are allowed to continue to work if they do not get the vaccine as long as it’s for religious reasons and not for the safety of her unborn child.

  • Chucky1992

    I look at it this way… she has the right to refuse to get the shot, they have the right not to employ a person who has an increased risk of spreading diseases. I do hope that they would have considered putting her in a position that reduced the risk or her gettting or spreading the flu before terminating her though.

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