New York hospital fires employee for refusing flu shot

Glens Falls (N.Y.) Hospital fired longtime employee Lisa Amorosi Dec. 1 for refusing to get a flu shot after citing bad reactions from past flu vaccines, The Post Star reports. 

Ms. Amorosi, who worked at the check-in desk at Glens Falls Cancer Center, said she hasn't gotten a flu vaccine for the past five years, instead wearing a mask during the six months of flu season. In the past, she reported getting a flu shot yearly, but stopped when she felt sick for months on end after receiving it. 

"My skin literally hurt. My clothes hurt. It lasted eight months out of the year," she told The Post Star. "I thought it was a fluke. Normally, I'm healthy all year long. I got the flu shot the second year, the same thing happened — I felt like crap for about eight months." After that, she decided not to get a flu vaccine anymore. 

This year, the hospital changed its protocol to require all non-allergic employees to get vaccinated by Dec. 1, or be terminated. 

"As healthcare workers providing care to some of the most vulnerable in our population, we determined that the responsible stance to take within our organization is to make flu vaccination mandatory," Ray Agnew, hospital spokesperson, said in a statement shared with The Post Star. "This is the norm, not the exception, among almost all Capital Region hospitals." 

Those who didn't want the vaccine were offered a free evaluation from an independent allergist. Employees allergic to essential vaccine components were exempt. 

An allergist told Ms. Amorosi there was no way to confirm her reactions were linked to the vaccine, dismissing an exemption qualification. She declined the eggless vaccine, an alternative for people who might be allergic to certain components in the regular vaccine, and was fired Dec. 1. 

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