The Truth About the Flu Shot - Sherri Tenpenny, DO
What’s in the regular flu shot?
■Egg proteins: including avian contaminant viruses
■Gelatin: known to cause allergic reactions and anaphylaxis are usually associated with sensitivity to egg or gelatin
■Polysorbate 80 (Tween80™): can cause severe allergic reactions, including anaphylaxis
■Formaldehyde: known carcinogen
■Triton X100: a strong detergent
■Sucrose: table sugar
■Resin: known to cause allergic reactions
■Gentamycin: an antibiotic
■Thimerosal: mercury is still in multidose flu shot vials
Hospital employees must get their flu shots or face firing
By Becky Orr
CHEYENNE -- All Cheyenne Regional Medical Center employees now must get flu shots -- or exemptions.
Employees who break the rules could be fired.
The new policy went into effect in September, said James Watson, director of CRMC's marketing and communications.
Officals told employees about the new policy in September. Workers have until mid-November to get their flu shots, which the hospital provides free.
The hospital will allow exemptions to the flu shots for religious and medical reasons.
"If they (the employees) refuse to request an exemption and also refuse to get the shot, they cannot work at the facility," Watson said.
Employees who get exemptions approved must wear surgical masks while at work.
Firing is definitely an option for employees who break these rules, Watson said. "We are committed to a safe environment" for patients, he said.
Employees have until Oct. 14 to file exemptions. As of Thursday, 10 employees had filed. About 1,850 people work at the hospital.
Medical exemptions can range from an employee who has an allergy to eggs to other reasons defined by a doctor. A doctor must send a letter to the hospital explaining the exemption.
Employees who want a religious exemption must explain the reason to a panel of hospital employees. The panel will decide on a case-by-case basis.
The health care industry has started moving toward requiring mandatory vaccines across the country.
Poudre Valley Hospital in Fort Collins, Colo., now requires employees to get their flu shots.
So does St. John's Hospital in Jackson Hole.
Two of Boston's biggest teaching hospitals now require employees who work around patients to get flu shots or face suspension or firing.
CRMC did not make shots mandatory last year or in years past.
Critics of mandatory flu shots say it violates personal freedoms.
Watson said it's a question of patient safety. "We cannot risk having influenza going through our hospital when we have a patient with a weakened immune system."
The hospital already requires employees to get tetanus and hepatitis shots and tuberculosis tests.
One person has complained to the American Civil Liberties of Wyoming office about the required shots, said Linda Burt, its executive director.
"Employers do have fairly wide latitude to make reasonable requirements of employees," Burt said.
"Exemptions are in place," she said. The exemptions are "clearly appropriate and clearly needed."
The situation is not something the ACLU will investigate further," Burt added.