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Hospital Fires Nurse for Refusing to Get Flu Shot

The flu season certainly is upon as we read headlines of area hospitals handling an “explosive” outbreak of the illness that apparently still hasn’t peaked.The Chicago Tribune reported Saturday, Jan. 5, 2012, that one Chicago-area hospital fired a part-time nurse for refusing to get a flu shot.  The critical care nurse at Alexian Brothers Medical Center in Elk Grove told the press that she was fired in December after the hospital instituted the flu shot requirement.  The newspaper went on to report that Indiana University Health announced Friday that “more than 25,500 of the employees statewide [in Indiana] got newly required flu vaccinations or exemptions, while about 175 employees were expected to be fired for non-compliance.”The issue is sure to become discussed in a more widespread forum as hospital workers ask, as did the nurse at Alexian Brothers, “‘Where does it say that, just because I’m a nurse, I’m not a patient?’”The issue is one for continued debate in the area as the Tribune story said that the Metropolitan Chicago Healthcare Council reports that a slight majority of Chicago-area hospitals now require flu shots for health care workers.

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