News 8 asked other Connecticut hospitals about their employee flu shot policy:
Bridgeport Hospital: Employees who do not get a flu shot or fill out an explanation form will not be scheduled to work and will not be paid.
Yale-New Haven Hospital: "we strongly encourage all employees to get their flu shots..." but it is not mandatory.
Danbury Hospital; Employees must state wether they have had a flu shot. Those who have not will be required to wear a face mask when in contact with patients.
Updated: Monday, 07 Jan 2013, 1:51 PM EST
Published : Friday, 30 Nov 2012, 5:06 PM EST
WATERBURY, Conn. (WTNH)-- It's a critical time at Waterbury Hospital for 120 employees. The issue is get the flu shot or get out.
Part-time employee, Pam Curley is one of them.
"I think it's about choice. If you want it, I think go ahead and get it, but I don't think here should be these drastic strong arm measures where that you are threatened by loss of job," said Curley.
Leading the change at the hospital is Dr. Steven Aronin, Chief of Infectious Disease Section.
"It's to protect the public, protect our patients, but at the same time and it's the reason why I can't understand the controversy. It's to protect our health care workers too," Dr. Aronin said.
Curley, a single mom, does not want to be forced to get the flu shot.
She said, "I'm more than willing to wear a mask, I'm more than willing to take other measures. I just really prefer not to be injected for a substance I'm not prepared for. There's risk of death of the flu shot."
Dr. Aronin said, "anybody who works in Waterbury Hospital, who goes into our cafeteria, who walks the halls of our hospital, could have the flu and somebody else who does take care of them, immuno compromised patients, they could pick it up and bring it onto their patients."
The bottom line is here.
"So basically patient care trumps over the right of the employee to decide whether or not they get the flu shot? Yes, it's a good way to look at it. There are other things we ask of our employees when they get hired by Waterbury Hospital. They need to show they've been vaccinated against measles, mumps and rubella," said Dr. Aronin.
Curley said, "you will probably lose your job because you are not going to get this flu shot? Yeah, is it worth it? To me, it's bigger than Waterbury Hospital. It's bigger than me. It's what our country is found on. It's about freedom."