At least one employee has been launched for breaking a Mercy policy that is asking for flu vaccination, a hospital spokesman said Tuesday.
The nurse had been given a religious exception of the annual flu shot while working to the St Anthony Medical Center before being acquired by Mercy this year, according to the protester organizer outside Mercy South on Tuesday.
"That is the problem here, he rejected the religious exemption," said Nelia Aubuchon, who would only say she was close to the nurse who had finished.
Mercy implemented its flu shots policy in 2016. This year, the company received 170 applications for medical or religious exemptions to flu vaccine among its 44,000 workers across four countries. Although most applications have been issued, employees whose excluded were dismissed were notified this week, according to a statement.
"The point of our flu vaccine policy is simple: protection from the flu virus saves lives, especially those of the most vulnerable patients," said the statement.
The 2017-2018 flu season was the most severe in decades, with an estimated 79,000 deaths and 960,000 hospitals attributed to the virus. The lower rates of average vaccination (37 per cent of adults) contributed to the wave of illness, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.
The CDC recommends that all healthcare workers receive flu photos and say in a position statement that compulsory vaccine policies "can improve patient safety."
Although flu vaccine is not 100% effective in preventing the flu, it can continue to reduce the severity of the symptoms and cut the spread of infection to others. The hospital's location is particularly vulnerable to a result of high risk patients – including pregnant, newborn women and people with chronic medical conditions – and sustained immune systems, doctors say.
More than two-thirds of hospitals in the United States demand their employees to have flu photos. Vaccination rates in hospitals with a flu immittent reach 97 per cent compared to 79 per cent of employees in non-routine hospitals, according to the 2017 survey in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
As well as Mercy, local hospital systems BJC HealthCare and SSM Health have fake requirements for employees that include exceptions for medical or religious reasons.BJC implemented the flu blow policy in 2008 for all employees. More than 98 per cent of 26,000 BJC workers received the vaccine that year, and most other people received waivers. Eight workers were fired that year for non-compliance with the policy, according to an internal report. Updated figures were not available on Tuesday.
Last year, Essentia Health in Minnesota subscribed around 50 workers who refused to get flu vaccines after a union that represented some employees failed to get a court injunction to stop the termination, according to Minneapolis Star Tribune.
However, the United States Department of Justice has noted a recent opposition to vaccine submissions by introducing a lawsuit earlier this year against the county of Wisconsin who was fired a assistant in a public nursing home after she had refused a fake of flu on religious land.