USA Nurses Protest Vaccine ~
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Judge Halts Mandatory Jabs
Nurses Will Sue New York Over Mandated
By Joe Byrne ~ 13 October, 2009 ~
The elderly, the young, and the frequently
exposed are being advised to get vaccinated against H1N1 flu
virus this year, due to predictions of a possible influenza
epidemic. A new law in New York requires nurses and doctors to
receive the vaccination by the end of November. A band of four
nurses in Albany, however, is taking a stand against mandated
“I have had more staff that have become ill after the flu
vaccines this year than co-workers that have actually come down
with the illness," Lorna Patterson, a nurse at Albany Medical
Center's emergency room, told news network WTEN. Patterson is
one of the nurses who is filing a lawsuit this week against the
state. She and her co-workers hope that they can stop the state
from enforcing the mandatory vaccinations.
Currently, New York is telling health care workers that if they
aren't vaccinated by October 27th, they face a week's suspension
without pay; any employee not vaccinated by the state deadline,
November 30th, will be terminated.
"Receiving the vaccine doesn't mean you're not going to get the
flu," Patterson adds. She claims that she has only received an
influenza vaccination once in 28 years of nursing and for the
most part prefers 'proper hygiene' over a vaccine.
A co-worker, Katheryn Dupuis, feels similarly wary about the
H1N1 vaccine. "We're going to lose our jobs if we do not get
this vaccine," Dupuis says. "There are hundreds of co-workers of
ours that feel just as strongly against the vaccine."
The resistance to mandated vaccination stems from the speedy
discovery, research, and approval process that the H1N1 vaccine
passed through after this past year's swine flu scare. The
nurses filing suit claim that the vaccine was “rushed”. Many
vaccines face a year of testing and research before they are
available to the public, but the H1N1 vaccine was put into
massive production more quickly than most. One of the only
vaccines to be required for health care workers is also one of
the least tested.
So far, the nurses count 466 signatures on their circulating
petitions against the state mandate. A rally on Wednesday on the
steps of the state capitol is expected to grab more signatures
and the attentions of lawmakers.
More information on the mandated vaccination law and the nurses'
protest can be found here:
Above article at:
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Judge Halts Flu Vaccine Mandate For
New York Health Care Employees
Won't Be Forced To Get H1N1 Vaccine ...
16 October, 2009 ~ CBS ~
NEW YORK (CBS) – New York will no
longer be forced to get the H1N1 swine flu vaccine, CBS 2 has
learned. A state Supreme Court judge issued a restraining order
Friday against the state from enforcing the controversial
The order came as the Public Employees Federation sued to
reverse a policy requiring vaccination against the seasonal and
swine flu viruses, arguing that state Health Commissioner
Richard Daines overstepped his authority.
Three parties – the Public Employees Federation, New York State
United Teachers, and an attorney representing four Albany nurses
– challenged the order and for now the vaccination for nurses,
doctors, aides, and non-medical staff members who might be in a
patient's room will remain voluntary.
The health department had said the workers must be vaccinated by
November 30 or face possible disciplinary action, including
dismissal. PEF said it encourages members to get flu
vaccinations, but opposes the emergency regulation requiring the
vaccine as a condition of employment.
A judge granted a temporary restraining order Friday morning,
PEF spokes-woman Debbie Miles said. A court hearing is scheduled
for October 30.
New York was the first state in the country to initially mandate
flu vaccinations for its health care workers, but many health
care workers quickly protested against the ruling. In Hauppauge,
workers outside a local clinic screamed "No forced shots!" when
the mandate came down at the end of September.
"I don't even tend to the sick. I am in the nutrition field.
They are telling me I must get the shot because I work in a
health clinic setting," said Paula Small, a Women, Infants and
Children health care worker.
Small said she would refuse to be vaccinate, worried the vaccine
is untested and unproven, leaving her vulnerable. In 1976, there
were some deaths associated with a swine flu vaccination.
Registered nurse Frank Mannino, 50, was also angry. He said the
state regulation violates his personal freedom and civil rights.
"And now I will lose my job if I don't take the regular flu shot
or the swine flu shot." When asked if he's willing to lose his
job, Mannino said, "Absolutely. I will not take it, will not be
forced. This is still America."
The protest also shook Albany. Hundreds of demonstrators
demanded freedom of choice. After all, as health care
professionals, they argue they're already constantly washing
their hands and aren't likely to transmit or contract the flu.
Around 500,000 health care workers would have been slated to
receive the vaccine
"It's certainly their prerogative to voice their opinion," said
Dr. Susan Donelan of Stony Brook University Hospital. Donelan
said most in the medical community see the benefits and safety
of the shots and welcome them, and that hospitals must obey the
law. "Our hospital is committed to following the mandate to have
our personnel vaccinated," she said. The state said change was
needed this year to save lives. Typically only about 45 percent
of health care workers take advantage of voluntary flu vaccines.
More than 150 institutional outbreaks of seasonal and H1N1 flu
are expected this year in hospitals, nursing homes and hospice
There is also a strong resistance to the vaccine from the
general public. A new Harvard University poll shows that only
four in 10 adults intend to take the vaccine themselves, and
only six in 10 plan to give it to their children.
Above article at:
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