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US healthcare company fires 69 employees for refusing flu vaccination

BMJ 2017; 359 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.j5473 (Published 24 November 2017) Cite this as: BMJ 2017;359:j5473
  1. Owen Dyer
  1. Montreal

Essentia Health, which operates 15 hospitals and 75 clinics in Minnesota, Wisconsin, North Dakota, and Idaho, has fired 69 members of staff who refused to have the flu vaccine.

Hundreds of other Essentia workers received their flu shots last week after being warned that they would lose their jobs if they failed to meet a 20 November deadline to either be vaccinated or file an exemption request form. The company employs about 14 000 people.

Some of the fired employees had sought medical or religious exemptions, but these were strictly limited to documented evidence of vaccine allergy or of Guillain-Barré syndrome after previous vaccination. …

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