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Two Hospital Workers Fired for Refusing Flu Shots

John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, January 15, 2010

Two employees at Charleston (WV) Area Medical Center have been fired for reportedly refusing to receive hospital-mandated vaccinations against the seasonal flu virus, the hospital confirmed.

"Companies within the CAMC Health System employ more than 6,000 people. Nearly every one of them have been vaccinated as part of a new policy aimed at increasing the number of employees receiving the influenza vaccine," said CAMC spokesman Dale Witte, in a media release. "Only two employees decided to not be vaccinated and will no longer be permitted to work at CAMC."

The hospital did not identify the two employees, who were fired. Witte said CAMC was acting on the CDC recommendation that healthcare workers be vaccinated against influenza.

"CAMC is proud to be a leader in this important patient safety issue and therefore decided to make influenza vaccination mandatory to help prevent the spread of viral diseases as it does with other vaccinations," he said.

"Every employee is valuable. CAMC had hoped that it wouldn’t lose anyone by instituting this new policy," Witte said. "CAMC requires several vaccinations for employees to work at CAMC, and this is just another of those requirement to work at CAMC. CAMC is committed to providing the best care for its patients, and protecting them from the flu is an important part of that care."

In the last several months, hospitals across the nation have made the flu shots mandatory, and have threatened to fire employees who do not comply. In December, five employees at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia were fired for refusing mandatory flu shots.


John Commins is a senior editor with HealthLeaders Media.

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