A hospital fired a pregnant nurse for refusing flu vaccine as she worried about the side effects it may bring to her baby.
Dreonna Breton, 29, Lancaster, Penn. told CNN on Sunday, "I'm a healthy person. I take care of my body. For me, the potential risk was not worth it.I'm not gonna be the one percent of people that has a problem."
Breton worked as a nurse for Horizons Healthcare Services which required all employees to get a flu vaccine. The Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) required every health care professional to get an annual vaccination.
In spite of this, Breton told her employers that she has decided not to get the vaccine and tried to explain that its effects on pregnant women are supported by very limited studies. Moreover, her decision is influenced by her past experience when she suffered from three miscarriages.
Breton submitted letters from her primary care doctor and obstetrician that further supported her decision. However, she was told that if she didn't get the vaccine prior to December 17, she would lose her job.
Alan Peterson, spokesman of Horizons Healthcare Services, told CNN affiliate WPVI that health workers have the responsibility to be immunized and that pregnant women have higher susceptibility to the flu.
The CDC official site states that getting the flu vaccine during pregnancy is the best way for pregnant women and their babies to get protected.
While Breton acknowledges the CDC’s advice, she reiterated that it was her family’s choice to avoid getting the flu vaccine together with the unknowns that go with it.
As a way to compensate for her refusal, Breton has offered the idea of wearing a mask at work which is usually practiced by employees that are exempted because of religious reasons. The hospital has disapproved and proceeded to fire her.
Breton is not interested to take any legal action. Aside from her desire to continue her work as a nurse, she has asked the company to come up with a reevaluation on their policies concerning pregnant employees taking the vaccine.