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Pregnant Nurse Claims She was Fired for Refusing the Flu Vaccine

Update Date: Dec 30, 2013 09:41 AM EST
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The flu vaccine is created every year to protect people from potentially fatal consequences due to the flu. For this season, there are different types of vaccines, such as an egg-free one, that people could choose from. In order to get more people vaccinated, especially in medical settings where the flu could spread quickly, some facilities mandate their employees to get vaccinated while other medical centers encourage the vaccine. Now, a pregnant nurse is claiming that she was fired for refusing to get the flu vaccine.

According to 29-year-old Dreonna Breton, she did not want to be vaccinated out of the fear that she might miscarry. Breton, who worked at Horizons Healthcare Services located in Lancaster, PA, was mandated to get the vaccine like every other employee at the center. Breton, however, did not feel safe getting the flu vaccine after reportedly reading about some of the side effects the vaccine has on pregnant women. These findings came from very small and limited studies.

"I'm a healthy person. I take care of my body. For me, the potential risk was not worth it," Dreonna Breton told CNN. "I'm not gonna be the one percent of people that has a problem."

Breton added that she arrived at her decision after weighing the potential risks involved with the vaccine. Breton already had two miscarriages this year. Breton had proceeded to ask her obstetrician and primary care doctor to write letters supporting her decision. Despite getting two medical professionals to side with her, Horizon Healthcare Services told her that if she did not get vaccinated before December 17, she would be fired.

"I know that the CDC [U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] says to get it, and that's fine, but it was our choice to avoid the flu vaccine and the unknowns that come with that," Breton said.

The CDC recommends all pregnant women get vaccinated because the vaccine offers the best kind of protection for the mother and the unborn baby. Instead of the vaccine, Breton told her bosses that she would wear a face mask at all times during work. The hospital, however, stated that a health care worker must be vaccinated due to the risks involved with working in a medical center. Since Breton is pregnant, her risk of contracting the flu virus and developing fatal consequences is high.

"I want to give this baby the best shot that I can," she told WGAL. "There are just things in the flu vaccine that are not known, like how it affects my growing baby."

Despite losing her job, Breton does not plan on taking legal action against the facility.

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