With little public discussion, the New York Board of Health unanimously passed the Vaccine Powers Rule in 2013. The rule required New York City children attending a day care center or aged 6 months to 59 months to be given a yearly flu vaccination. For a moment, it appeared that children would be excluded from class if they didn’t receive the flu vaccine for the first time in the State’s history. California’s Senate Bill 277, signed into law in 2015, took things further by requiring all students to be up-to-date with all vaccines to receive an education in the state. On December 16th, 2015, Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Manuel Mendez ruled on behalf of The Supreme Court of the State of New York to end the mandatory flu vaccine rule. Mendez said in his decision that the city’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene “lacked the statutory authority” to mandate the influenza vaccines because they are not required under state law.
As we are nearing 2020, it’s a fair question to check in on how close the nation is to reaching the targets set by Healthy People 2020. Perhaps the more important question is how these goals may be creating a discriminatory class system separating the vaccinated versus the unvaccinated in the workplace. Many consider the workplace mandate for annual influenza vaccinations the most disturbing piece of the Healthy People 2020 agenda. The objective calls for mandatory flu shots as a condition of employment among 90% of health care workers. In 2012, monumental federal actions prompted some movement toward that goal. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services implemented a final rule requiring hospitals to report vaccination rates, tying these rates to Medicare reimbursement. Additionally, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ National Vaccine Advisory Committee approved recommendations urging health care facilities to consider mandatory flu vaccination policies as a condition of employment. Despite federal actions, many high-profile groups representing health care workers continue to be divided on flu vaccine mandates. The National Nurses Union, the largest nurses union in the country, for example, publicly oppose mandatory vaccinations for health care workers, while the American Nurses Association regularly speaks out in support. But the division does not stop the bullying and humiliation tactics used nationwide to discriminate against health care workers declining to get influenza vaccine, a vaccine that for the past three flu seasons federal health officials admit has had an effectiveness rate of at best 47% to 62%.5 In addition, influenza vaccine-related injuries and deaths are the number one most compensated vaccine injury claim for adults in the federal vaccine injury compensation program (VICP).
Five Manhattan and Brooklyn mothers with children in preschool are suing the city over its policy of mandatory flu vaccinations. The parents — ranging from a single mom in an East Harlem housing project to an investment banker in the Flatiron District — claim a 2013 rule passed by the city’s Health Department under Bloomberg is illegal because it was not voted on by state lawmakers. “I am also disturbed that I cannot express my dissent to my elected representatives in the New York Legislature as I understand they never voted ‘yes’ or ‘no’ for this flu dictate and I don’t know who I can hold responsible for foisting this mandate onto me,” gripes one of the moms, Clemence Rasigni, who works for Merrill Lynch.
Megan Duncan, Alanda Watson and Denise Mercurius will report to work Friday morning, as they have done every day for years. Once there, they expect to be fired. The three women — employees of Lutheran Social Ministries of New Jersey, an agency that helps the elderly and the disadvantaged throughout the state — are among a rising number of workers facing termination for refusing to get a flu shot or, as an alternative, wear a surgical mask in the workplace. What differentiates Duncan, Watson and Mercurius from most of those fired, however, is that they're not doctors or nurses, and they don't work in a hospital. They spend their days in a corporate office in suburban Burlington Township, crunching numbers or dealing with billing issues.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) own statistics, the seasonal ﬂu vaccine for the 2014-2015 season was only 19 percent effective. So why is there a worldwide push for ﬂu vaccination? What are the risks inherent in a ﬂu vaccination and are they worth it? These questions have been deleted, ignored, omitted, and crossed out by most in favor of what appears to be a dose of drug company proﬁt mixed with political agenda.
Last month the Massachusetts Nurses Association sued Brigham and Women’s Hospital over a new policy that required nurses to receive the annual flu vaccine as a condition for employment. The nurses were criticized by the medical establishment. Lynn Nicholas, president of the Massachusetts Hospital Association, stated that the nurses were: "putting a pet peeve of theirs above the safety and well-being of the patients they serve, their families, visitors to the hospital, and their colleagues.” When nurses all across the United States and Canada are willing to sacrifice their jobs and careers to avoid the annual flu shot, it is time to sit up and take notice. Trish Powers, representing Brigham nurses in Boston, fired back a comment that The Boston Globe published. It is titled "Brigham nurses know flu vaccine can do harm."
Mainstream news media sources (which are heavily funded by Big Pharma) would like everyone to believe that those in the medical field are united in their support of vaccines. However, there are many doctors and healthcare officials questioning the safety and efficacy of vaccines today. This is especially true regarding the issue of mandatory flu vaccinations for healthcare workers. Doctors, nurses, and others are increasingly speaking out against mandatory flu vaccinations, especially in Canada. A recent report in the Vancouver Sun quoted an emergency room doctor, Dr. Derrick Moore, as stating that he and 10 nurses refused to comply with mandatory flu vaccinations for healthcare workers at Nanaimo Regional General Hospital in Victoria B.C. According to the Vancouver Sun, Dr. Moore stated that the health authorities in Canada were unable to pick on him and the nurses because of “strength in numbers” and the impact it would have on emergency room staffing if they were fired. He stated he believed doctors and nurses across Canada were refusing the mandatory flu vaccine. Earlier this week, three medical doctors wrote an editorial in the Toronto Star opposing mandatory flu vaccinations for healthcare workers. They stated that the evidence of the benefits of the flu vaccine is not nearly strong enough to justify taking away a doctor's choice to make the decision on whether or not they vaccinate themselves.
We have frequently reported here at Health Impact News the stories of brave nurses standing up for their rights to refuse mandatory flu vaccinations as a condition for employment. There are current cases pending in litigation over this violation of civil rights and recently a New Jersey appeals court ruled in favor of a nurse who was denied employment based on her refusal of the annual flu vaccination. We have also reported here at Health Impact News that based on settled cases in the special vaccine court, the flu vaccine is the most dangerous vaccine in the United States based on settled cases. Most of the awards paid out for damages due to the flu vaccine are for cases of Guillain-Barré Syndrome (GBS). Much like the symptoms of polio, GBS sufferers can become totally paralyzed. Medical authorities know that this is a side effect of the flu vaccine, but the official claim is that it is only one out of one million. A quick list of settled claims each quarter will show that it is obviously much higher than this, however. The Morning Call of Lehigh Valley Pennsylvania is now reporting that one nurse's aide has been awarded $11.6 million for being paralyzed with GBS after receiving a flu shot. This is newsworthy, because pharmaceutical companies cannot be sued in civil court for damages due to vaccines. Congress gave them total immunity to such lawsuits in 1986 and that law was upheld by the pro-Pharma Supreme Court in 2011. Sales of vaccines include a tax that is paid to fund a special court where government attorneys fight for the U.S. government to prevent paying out damages due to vaccine. It is a long and difficult process, so settled cases represent only a tiny fraction of the amount of vaccine damaged people in our society.
New Market Ahead for Flu Vaccines: Mandatory Flu Shots for Employment to Expand Outside of Healthcare
The 2013-2014 flu season has seen multiple lawsuits started for violating the rights of healthcare workers in refusing employment based on mandatory flu vaccinations. Now, according to a new report published by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the stage may be setting for mandatory flu vaccines as a condition for employment in other job sectors outside of healthcare facilities, such as food service, education, community and social services, personal care, cleaning and maintenance, and even real estate.
As we reported earlier, a Michigan nurse has filed a $100 million class action lawsuit against the hospital that fired her for refusing a flu vaccine as a requirement for employment. So we did some research and we found out that there are lawsuits around the country currently in litigation from healthcare workers who have lost their jobs as a result of refusing the seasonal flu vaccine. We report on a few here. As we have previously reported, the recent move by hospitals to become so strict over requiring their employees (whether they have contact with patients or not) to receive the flu vaccine, is due to a provision in the new Affordable Health Care Act (Obamacare) that states health care facilities must have 90% of their employees vaccinated for the flu or lose federal reimbursement for Medicare and Medicaid. That amount was 1% in 2013 and is reportedly going to increase up to 2% by 2017. So now that the avalanche of lawsuits has begun against health care facilities for terminating employment based on flu vaccine status, or requiring people to wear a mask the entire flu season, the financial question they will need to consider is whether the potential one to two percent loss in Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement is enough to cover all their legal fees in trying to mandate the flu vaccine against desire of their employees, and the ensuing litigation that could result from terminating employment or forcing them to wear masks. Of course, President Obama has rewritten so many aspects of the Affordable Health Care Act, that maybe he could just step in and strike out the clause that penalizes health care facilities for not having 90% of their employees vaccinated for the flu. Or is the pharmaceutical lobby too powerful to allow that to happen?