In Pennsylvania, a pregnant nurse who is the other of one baby and pregnant with a second was fired for refusing to get a flu shot because she was concerned it would harm her unborn child.
Lancaster General Hospital fired Dreonna Breton, who has been a nurse there since 2008. but she was let go when she refused the mandatory flu shot required by her employer, Horizon Healthcare Services, which is owned by the hospital. Although the hospital requires all employees to get a flu shot, it does allow certain exemptions, apparently not covered in Breton’s case.
“It would be a false statement to say the flu vaccine is known to be safe during pregnancy,” the 29-year-old mother said. “I have lost my job, one that I love and am good at, because I chose to do what I believe is best for my baby.”
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Breton did her research about the pros and cons of taking the flu shot and “struggled to find the science behind mandated flu vaccinations,” she told The Patriot News.
The flu shot that Breton’s employer required, Fluzone, even stated in detailed patient information that its “safety and effectiveness […] have not been established in pregnant women.” [Emphasis added]
“Fluzone Intradermal should be used during pregnancy only if clearly needed,” the paper stated.
Breton was particularly concerned about doing anything to compromise her baby’s health because she had previously suffered two miscarriages.
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But local doctors told The Patriot News avoiding the flu shot is not necessarily what’s best for the unborn child.
“I would say she has a million times greater chance of of having a problem if she gets the disease rather than the vaccine,” Dr. Alan Peterson with Lancaster General Health told the newspaper, noting that a pregnant woman’s immune system is more compromised and susceptible to the flu.