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. 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.
Nurses all across the United States are having their Constitutional rights trampled upon for refusing mandatory flu vaccinations. As we have previously reported, thousands of nurses across the United States are taking a stand against forced flu vaccinations, choosing to either lose their job as a result, or endure shame and ridicule for being forced to wear a mask while on duty during flu season. It was only a matter of time before some of these nurses began taking legal action to protect their rights. Some litigation began last year, but details are not available publicly. Dr. Karen Sullivan Sibert, herself a pro-vaccine doctor, wrote an opinion piece explaining how requiring nurses to wear masks for refusing the flu vaccination violates HIPAA law for patient privacy. In addition to the violation of personal rights, the CDC published a study in 2013 showing that vaccination of healthcare workers with the seasonal flu vaccine offered no significant measurable protection of patients from the flu. And as we have reported here at Health Impact News, the flu vaccine is not without risk. The governments own data on settled cases due to vaccine injuries show that the flu vaccine causes more serious injuries, including death, than all other vaccines combined. Now, the Law Offices of James Elsman has issued a press release stating that they have a client who is a nurse that has lost her job due to refusing the flu vaccination, and she has filed a class action suit for one hundred million dollars against the hospital that fired her, as well as the state and federal governments. It should be noted that the new Affordable Health Care Act (Obamacare) has mandated that healthcare facilities must have 90% of their employees vaccinated with the flu vaccine to receive full reimbursements of Medicare and Medicaid payments.
As 2014 begins to unfold, it is becoming clear that the medical care industry is facing a crisis. We have already reported about how many doctors are refusing to participate in the new Obamacare health insurance exchanges. But another unintended consequence of new medical care legislation is the refusal of nurses to comply with new mandatory flu vaccination requirements. With a nation-wide shortage in nurses already problematic long before Obamacare was implemented, things are only going to get worse. Nurses across the United States are choosing to lose their jobs rather than submit to forced mandatory flu vaccinations. This began last flu season, in 2012, and we reported many stories of brave nurses standing up for their rights and refusing to submit to mandatory flu vaccinations as a requirement to keeping their jobs. Unfortunately, many of our nation's best nurses were already lost at the beginning of the 2012-2013 flu season as new mandates in Obamacare kicked in, requiring medical care facilities to have a 90% compliance to the flu vaccine as a requirement to receive full reimbursements for Medicare and Medicaid. The trend towards losing nurses over the mandatory flu vaccine has continued this flu season, in 2013-2014. For example, Dreonna Breton, a registered nurse in Pennsylvania, lost her job recently due to refusing the vaccine on medical grounds. She is pregnant, and has a history of miscarriages. Her doctor advised her NOT to get the flu vaccine, but her hospital refused her exemption and fired her. For those nurses who are granted exemptions to avoid the flu vaccine, they are forced to wear masks while at work, for the entire flu season. Since studies show that even those who are vaccinated can still pass on the influenza virus, and since the requirement to vaccinate 90% of medical care workers with the flu vaccine is a financial consideration for getting the full federal funds available for Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements, this requirement to single out those refusing vaccines is a clear case of discrimination and harassment. Nurses across the country are gathering together on the Internet, such as the Nurses Against Mandatory Vaccines Facebook Page, and proudly displaying their masks as badges of honor in not giving in to intimidation and medical tyranny. They are some of the few honorable people left in the corrupt medical system.
Last Wednesday, the New York City Board of Health decreed that all children under age 5 who are enrolled in city-licensed preschools or daycare centers must receive an annual flu vaccine. This is in addition to the seven other vaccinations already required for NYC preschoolers. Tripedia for DTaP, as well as Fluzone, Afluria, and three kinds of Fluvirin for flu, contain trace amounts of thimerosal, a preservative that contains deadly mercury. Tell the NYC Board of Health to repeal mandatory flu shots for preschoolers! If you live in New York, please take action today. If not, please educate yourself and your loved ones about the threat of mandatory flu vaccinations—what happens in NYC today could happen in your state tomorrow.