Pregnant Nurse: ‘I Was Fired for Refusing Flu Vaccine’

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(CNN) — 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.

–By Allie Malloy, CNN

27 comments

  • Chris Wesley

    quit forcing the flu shot. we already know at least 30 people died from the flu this year. I haven’t taking flu shot in 20 years and I never have the flu. please stop this BS money making item for the government.

    • Dave

      I’m missing your point. You say “we already know at least 30 people died from the flu this year”, which would seem to indicate a vaccination is a means of helping save some of those, but then you say “you” never had the shot. OK. You are unique, as is every one else. Ms Breton works in healthcare – she is exposed to the flu (and a shlu of other things) daily, as well as walks around as a carrier. The shot would not only help protect her, but also the people – not only patients, but everyone she comes in contact with.

      She is at risk due to high exposure. The shot is actually a good idea.

      • Bmrc

        The flu vaccine doesn’t prevent the flu!!! It never has and never will. It’s just a bunch of bs propoganda put out by the CDC. Read up on many vaccines….they don’t work and are usually what causes the outbreaks!

  • Amy

    I work as a nurse in the health field. We are not forced to take it. We must only sign a declination stating why we do not want it.,her reasoning sounds perfectly legitimate to me.

    • Sue Cox

      Amen! I have not had the flu for decades (since college). I have been getting a flu shot every yr since. When you get the shot, it takes about 3-4 weeks to build up the immunity. So if you get the flu after the shot, that only means you were exposed prior to getting the shot.

  • Stacy

    I work at a hospital and was forced to get the flu shot as well. They would not accept anything staying that I had a reaction, they would only accept a statement of DEATHLY allergy from a physician or a letter from a spiritual advisor for religious exemption. I agree with her completely, I have found studies that have found the flu shot to be the possible reason behind as many as 3500 stillbirths. That’s not including miscarriages possibly linked to the flu shot. This shot only immunizes you against 3 strains when there are thousands out there anyways. It isn’t worth that risk. My husband and I are currently trying to conceive and I will probably get fired as well because, after two miscarriages and a stillborn, I will not take that chance either.

  • ashely

    Her reasons are absolutly jusyified…. I work in the healthchealthcare field and have for the past 5 years. The first year I received the flu vaccine 4 days later I was extremely sick w. A 105 fever and hospitalized for dehydration. I was then out of work for 4 weeks due to the sickness. I have not recieved yhe flu shot since and I have not been sick since. There are to many aide affects and unknowns about the fku shot and the vaccine changes every year therefore your body builds up an immunity to all these medicines and one day when we really need to take a medication it will not be affective to is… I will gladly wear a mask to protect myself and others, which is my hospitals current policy, but if the rumors are true I will also b losing my job this upcoming year for declining the flu shot

  • sarah

    jeez i had no idea all of this was going on. i think this is absolutely wrong and the flu shot should definitely be a personal choice. my mom’s a teacher and tries to get the flu shot yearly and is always trying to get me to get one, but after hearing about all these crazy reactions i just don’t think it’s worth it. i’ll deal with my yearly winter cold if it means possibly saving mine or my future child’s life. if there’s anything i can do to help the cause let me know. because this is clearly not right and just plain cruel. i put my support behind these nurse’s and their freedom.

  • SoSueMe

    Hmmmm, that is strange. I know a few nurses and a friend that works in the heart lab at my local hospital, they refuse to get the flu shot. All they have to do is wear a mask from November till April. I suspect there’s more to the story.

    • ashely

      Some hospitals you can still decline. … others have moved to a mandatory mask during flu season if u decline the vaccine and a lot are now making it mandatory… this is the first yr we have to wear a mask but next year they are making it mandatory that if u do not recieve tje vaccine then u are not allowed to work. If you do not fulfil your work days you lose your job

  • lindz

    This is why companys should not be allowed to enforce idiotic rules.The hospital my cousin worked for tried this same b.s. so she quit and went to work for a hospital that would allow her to wear a mask. People should not be forced into doing things that they dont want to, these hospital policies take away nurses freedoms. Those stupid shots only cause problems not cure them ive never had a flu shot in 28 yrs and ive only had the flu 2x.

  • Lari Masters

    Why is it ok not to get a flu shot for religious reasons but not for personal reasons such as pregnancy?? As far as the hospital is concerned my religion would be what was preventing me from getting it. I think I would start a class action suit against the hospital. There has to be hundreds of nurses and other medical professionals.

  • heather

    must not be a real big deal if its not mandatory for people with religious reasons. I say if they are going to have this sort of rule for flu shots then all or nothing! either force the people to do it who are right now “exempt” for religious reasons or don’t force the rest of us who don’t believe in them, and don’t want our bodies injected with that stuff.

  • Jeanhall@nc.rr.com

    As a nurse she should be fired for not having the basic understanding of the flu. She is at greater risk of miscarrying if she were to get the flu not to speak of the risk to her newborn. And then to perpetuate this to the greater population?! How did she get through nursing school!!

  • Flushot- never got it never will

    You crack me up. you won’t let your kids play with Mercury but you’ll inject them with it for the 66% chance they won’t get the flu. Next you’ll tell me the fluoride in the water is for tooth decay. what’s after that? GMOs good for?
    take your flu shots if you want to but stay outta my body. you say that for friggin abortions right? kinda hypocritical for you tell her to take a shot she doesn’t want.

  • Alaina Edwards

    Jean Hall…YOU are the one lacking in the basic understanding of the flu. Vaccinations cannot NEVER guard you against getting or spreading the flu. The best defense is natural immunity by having had the flu or other illnesses (remember having your titers checked for natural immunities?) Vaccinations cannot give you an immunity, nor do they promise that you will be protected from the flu. The flu shot diminishes your immune system with all the heavy metals & preservatives in them, which will cause you to get sick. Not to mention the long term auto-immune diseases it causes in some people.

    You didn’t have a reaction to the flu vaccine, good for you, have it; but don’t force other’s to play Russian Roulette with their health or the health of their unborn or newborn children and accuse them of being contagious. This is a lie. Patients have the option to refuse medical care or treatment, shame on you for not respecting a healthcare workers right as a patient also. What nursing school did YOU graduate from?

    The Nuremberg Trials (a world court) gave us the freedom to refuse medical treatments after the experimental drug testing Nazi’s forced on the Jewish people. Just in case you’ve never heard of the Nuremberg principles: “The definition of what constitutes a war crime is described by the Nuremberg principles, a set of guidelines document which was created as a result of the trial. The medical experiments conducted by German doctors and prosecuted in the so-called Doctors’ Trial led to the creation of the Nuremberg Code to control future trials involving human subjects, a set of research ethics principles for human experimentation.” And now, these pharmaceutical companies and medical communities are conducting themselves under the same guise “for the common good,” which was decided against by the Nuremberg Trials. For every person has the right to chose what is done or not done to their own bodies. To choose the flu vaccine or not, is EVERY person’s right. This mother & nurse has the right to refuse the flu vaccine for ANY reason, with the protection against being harassed because of her right to do so.

  • Jennifer

    Its her body and her babys body it should be her decision not a hospital. Chances are the strain of the flu shot she would have gotten wouldnt even be the flu going around.

  • ElusiveFacts (@ElusiveFacts)

    And who the hell do these businesses think they are for telling anyone to do with their own body and life. When she punched in you can tell your employee what you expect pertaining to their job. That is it! Stop asking for people’s Facebook passwords, telling them to get a shot and butting in on their private credit reports! If you own or run a business, do you understand that simpletons?

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