Mid-Michigan pregnant woman refusing to get flu shot

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Owosso (WJRT) (11/14/17) - Does a hospital worker have a right to refuse a flu shot? That's the question a mid-Michigan woman is raising.

We've seen mothers go to court over not vaccinating their children.
Now, a mother says she may lose her job at a local hospital, all because she's refusing to get vaccinated.

Christina Arnold of Genesee County has been working in the lab of Memorial Healthcare of Owosso, where she draws blood. She doesn't want the vaccination and she doesn't want to have to wear a sterile mask.

"I don't want any vaccines during this pregnancy because I don't want to lose my baby. It was hard enough to get pregnant," said Arnold.

She has worked at Memorial Healthcare since September 11. She gave them a letter from her doctor, who granted a vaccination waiver.

"Still after giving that to them, they're still wanting me to get the flu shot," said Arnold.

She has had bad reactions to the flu shot in the past. When her daughter was two, the little girl developed pneumonia after the vaccine.

"I used to believe in the flu shot until I almost lost my daughter in December of 2014," said Arnold.

She is determined something like that won't happen again.

"I feel it's someone's choice whether they want it or not. By making somebody get it just to keep a job is not fair," said Arnold.

She has received a certified letter from Memorial Healthcare, asking for a meeting to talk about her choices. And she's being pressured she says to resign.

"By the hospital mandating the immunization, it violates people's rights," said Arnold.

A statement from Joseph Bustamante, D.O., the chief medical officer of Memorial Healthcare says: As a condition of employment/medical staff privileges, Memorial Healthcare requires annual influenza vaccination of all staff, including volunteers, that have job duties or physical presence inside any Memorial Healthcare owned and operated facility or clinic in the course of conducting Memorial Healthcare work. By having our health care personnel vaccinated against influenza, Memorial Healthcare continues to promote a culture of patent safety by helping to prevent hospital acquired influenza transmission to patients and visitors as well as protecting staff against workplace transmission.

Ascension hospitals like Genesys and Saginaw St. Mary's require flu vaccinations. Hurley Medical Center does not. Saginaw Covenant says either the employee must get the shot or must wear a sterile mask.

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