Pregnant Nurse Fired After Refusing Flu Shot

Dreonna Breton had suffered miscarriages, was wary of vaccine's effect

By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff

Posted Dec 30, 2013 6:24 AM CST

(Newser) – Dreonna Breton has an 18-month-old son and another child on the way. But the 29-year-old Pennsylvania woman has also suffered three miscarriages. And so when her employers at Horizons Healthcare Services in Lancaster informed its entire staff that a flu shot was necessary, Breton refused. Though she acknowledged that the CDC recommends it for pregnant women, she cited a dearth of research on how the vaccine actually affects pregnant women. "I'm not gonna be the one percent of people that has a problem," she told CNN yesterday. But her decision led to a different sort of problem: She was fired.

Breton did submit letters from both her midwife and her primary care doctor backing her choice, with the latter saying that while the vaccine is safe, her health would be damaged because of the anxiety it would cause, reports WGAL; she also said she would wear a face mask while working, but Horizons gave her a deadline of Dec. 17 to get the shot or get the boot. Though the company grants exemptions for religious or medical reasons, it says it saw no valid medical reason. Breton says she doesn't plan to sue, but wants the company to take a second look at its policy. (In other pregnancy-related news, a doctors' group is advising women not to freeze their eggs.)

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