The Massachusetts Nurses Association’s attempt to violate Brigham and Women’ Hospital’s mandatory flu vaccination policy was rejected by a Suffolk Superior Court judge last week.
Judge Robert N. Tochka’s rejected the union’s request for an immediate injunction; however, the union’s lawsuit against the hospital to avoid the flu shots continues. Tochka wrote: “MNA’s speculative claim of potential harm to an unspecified number of unidentified nurses is not adequate to outweigh the risk of harm to the hospital, its employees, and its patients if there is an outbreak of the flu.”
Some hospitals in Massachusetts require caregivers to receive flu vaccines each year, and all hospitals in the commonwealth offer free flu vaccine to their employees. Recent state reporting shows across-the-board increases in healthcare workers receiving flu vaccinations.
MHA supports the establishment of state policies that would require all members of the healthcare workforce to be vaccinated.
“As healthcare providers, our members are responsible for promoting public health and should be role models,” said MHA V.P. of Clinical Affairs Pat Noga, R.N. “As centers for care, hospitals will continue to be proactive in ensuring the safest conditions possible for patients and healthcare professionals alike. Patient safety shouldn’t be optional and that means that vaccination compliance shouldn’t be optional either.”