Indiana University Health fired eight hospital staffers in Goshen who refused to get flu shots.
IU Health-Goshen spokeswoman Melanie McDonald says IU advised all hospital employees in September that flu shots would become mandatory with the new year.
“Beginning this year, all IU Health colleagues, affiliated physicians, volunteers, vendors, were all required to receive the flu vaccine, or they could apply for a medical or religious exemption, and that application would be reviewed,” McDonaldy says.
McDonald says flu kills more people than any other vaccine-preventable disease. She says the hospital concluded it would be “irresponsible” to allow nurses and other staffers unwilling to take those protective measures to put patients with already-weakened immune systems at potential risk.
The hospital did allow exemptions for medical and religious reasons. At least some of the fired employees submitted applications. McDonald says a hospital committee reviewed those requests based on medical guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and religious guidelines from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.