Some Essentia Employees Balk at New Flu Shot Policy, File for Injunction

October 23, 2017 06:13 PM

A lot of employers recommend getting a flu shot, but some are starting to require it. 

Essentia Health is the latest to make getting the flu shot a job requirement. However, some employees of the Duluth-based health system are trying to prevent the new policy from coming to fruition.

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The union representing some industrial and service workers at Essentia Health filed for an injunction in U.S. District Court last week. The document says "Essentia announced it will require all employees, including those who have no patient contact, to be vaccinated against influenza."

RELATED: Local Physicians Predict Heightened Flu Season

It goes on to say that "the new policy allows only very limited medical and religious exemptions," and that "Essentia has stated that all employees who are not vaccinated by November 10, 2017 will be terminated on November 20th."

The union is asking for an injunction so it has more time to negotiate with the health care company.

The new policy might sound controversial to some, but it's common sense to others.

"I think we are going to see much more of it," said KSTP medical expert Dr. Archelle Georgiou.

Georgiou says more medical providers are making flu shots a requirement even if employees do not come into contact with patients.

RELATED: Flu Shots for the Impending Season

"Even if you are not patient-facing, you are still using the door knobs and touching the faucets," Georgiou said. "You are still potentially infecting the environment."

According to the Immunization Action Coalition, 640 hospitals and health care facilities across the country have made flu shots some form of a job requirement. Hennepin County Medical Center here is one of them.

Credits

Ellen Galles

Copyright 2017 - KSTP-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company

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