A pregnant nurse was fired from her job after she refused a mandatory flu vaccine for fear it could potentially harm her unborn child.
After reading the vaccine Fluzone’s insert and learning it was “not known” whether the shot could cause harm to her unborn baby, 29-year-old healthcare worker Dreonna Breton opted not to take the risk.
The section of the insert that worried Breton states, “It is.. not known whether Fluzone can cause fetal harm when administered to a pregnant woman or can affect reproduction capacity.” The insert also cautioned that “Fluzone should be given to a pregnant woman only if clearly needed.”
“It would be a false statement to say the flu vaccine is known to be safe during pregnancy,” Breton accurately assessed from the data available to her.
A history of miscarriage, in addition to a note from her doctor recommending she not take the vaccine made her all the more wary.
“In my view getting the flu shot would significantly and negatively impact her health because of the increased fear and anxiety it would create as well as the emotional impact it could cause if she does miscarry again,” her doctor’s note read.
As part of the Lancaster General Health network, her employer, Horizon Healthcare Services, requires all staff be inoculated. Breton’s occupation involved going to patients’ homes and assisting with drug and nutrition infusion services.
“I honestly didn’t think it was going to be a problem but I was immediately met with the resistance that if I didn’t take the vaccine by the November 15 deadline I would be terminated,” Breton told the UK’s Daily Mail.