Minnesota Company Fires Appx. 50 Workers For Refusing To Get Flu Shot

Some of the nurses claim they filed for exemptions based on religious or medical grounds but Essentia Health which counts 15 hospitals and 75 clinics in Minnesota Idaho Wisconsin and North Dakota had previously said it would allow for “very limited

Headquartered in Duluth, Essentia has hospitals and/or clinics in four states. Last week, Essentia said that although November 10 was the original deadline for getting vaccinated or obtaining an exemption, employees could continue to do either right through Monday and avoid losing their jobs.

She said she would claim in her appeal that the flu shot mandate was a civil rights or human rights violation.

Anyone over 6 months should get the flu vaccine to ward off a virus that impacts hundreds of thousands of Americans each year, and leads to anywhere from 12,000 to 56,000 deaths, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

"I take it myself", Dr. Gaston De Serres, the lead author of the study, said of the flu shot. Essentia actually has more than 14,000 employees, Anderson said, but some are on leaves of absence and not now required to adhere to the policy. Essentia's rate a year ago was 82 percent, Prabhu has said.

Prabu says the reason the hospital went this way was to protect patients.

The ax fell on Monday for Essentia employees who hadn't gotten an influenza vaccination, been approved for a religious or medical exemption from getting the shot or sought an exemption and were awaiting a ruling from Essentia's "exemption review committee".

"We are taking care of patients who have certain medical conditions that put them at higher risk if they catch influenza while hospitalized", Prabhu, the Essentia safety officer, told MPR.

The policy, first announced in September, met resistance. The MNA said on Monday it will file a grievance on behalf of every nurse fired because of the policy.

Harvey, who lives north of Chisholm, said he's disgusted with the way health care is provided in the U.S.in general and probably will apply for a job in the mines.

The Minnesota Nurses Association, a union representing many Essentia nurses, told KMSP that it proposed a voluntary program instead of the mandatory one that Essentia is now enforcing.

In a news release on Monday, the MNA accused Essentia of failing to bargain over the issue in good faith.



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