Petition Closed

This year, Erlanger Health System in Chattanooga, TN, is imposing an influenza vaccine mandate on all of its employees as a condition of employment (in other words, if you don't receive a flu shot, you will be terminated). There are many employees who have personal convictions for not wanting to receive the flu vaccine but are not allowed to opt out unless they have a "valid medical reason". Whether or not you get a flu shot or believe they are beneficial, PLEASE sign this petition if you believe Erlanger employees should have the right to decide if getting a flu shot is in the best interests of their own personal well-being. THANK YOU!!!

Here is an excerpt from my letter:

"Below are some of the reasons one may not want to receive the flu shot and should be able to opt out for philosophical/personal objections if they so choose:

1)Dr. J. Anthony Morris (former Chief Vaccine Control Officer at the FDA) states: 'There is no evidence that any influenza vaccine thus far developed is effective in preventing or mitigating any attack of influenza. The producers of these vaccines know that they are worthless, but they go on selling them anyway.'

2)Direct from the 2012-2013 FDA website's FLUVIRIN®  Formula information page: 'FLUVIRIN® has not been evaluated for carcinogenic or mutagenic potential, or for impairment of fertility.'

3)FLUVIRIN® contains two and half times the formaldehyde (embalming fluid and a known carcinogen according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human services) as the level listed as 'an immediate danger to life and health' by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. 

4)Flu shots contain thimerosal (49% mercury, a toxic chemical, by volume) as a preservative, in the amount of 25 micrograms. This is 250 times the EPA's safety limit of exposure

5)Erlanger employees are responsible people who will opt to wear a mask should they exhibit any flu symptoms or will stay home from work when necessary.

6)'The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is a strong supporter of appropriate education, ready access and signed declination statements for HCP vaccinations... Influenza vaccination exemptions should be allowed for HCP with valid medical contraindications to vaccinations, or religious and/or personal objections.'

⁃OSHA: 'Every year there are numerous circulating strains of influenza that are not included in the vaccine. In years where the antigenic match is good, the vaccine only provides protection against the 3 strains in the formulation. In years when the antigenic match is poor, the vaccine may provide no protection at all. The limits of current influenza vaccine technology are especially problematic in the context of a mandatory influenza vaccination program that results in job loss. Lastly, reliance on a mandatory influenza vaccination policy may provide healthcare workers, health care facility management and patients with an unwarranted sense of security and result in poor adherence to other infection control practices that prevent all types of infections, not just influenza. Influenza vaccination has always been just one part of a comprehensive multi-layered infection control program.'

'The Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS), a national organization of physicians in all specialties founded in 1943 to preserve the sanctity of the patient-physician relationship, objects strenuously to any coercion of healthcare personnel to receive influenza immunization.' The AAPS further states, 'It is a fundamental human right not to be subjected to medical interventions without fully informed consent.' The National Vaccine Information Center states, 'It is unfair, irresponsible and unethical for employers to force health care workers to choose between their health, their deeply held spiritual or conscientious beliefs or their job.'"

Sources:

  1. http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/physician-resources/medical-ethics/code-medical-ethics/opinion9133.page
  2. Wrangham,Theresa, NVIC Executive Director. "Labor Unions Oppose Mandatory Flu Shots as AMA Cherry-Picks Ethics to Endorse Vaccine Mandates" 
  3. Alan Phillips, J.D. "Vaccine philosophical exemptions: A moral and ethical imperative" http://www.naturalnews.com/031389_vaccines_philosophical_exemptions.html
  4. http://www.fda.gov/downloads/BiologicsBloodVaccines/Vaccines/ApprovedProducts/ucm123694.pdf
  5. Mercola. "Tell Your Doctor: If You Don't Show Me This, You're Breaking the Law" http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2012/03/25/defending-vaccine-exemptions.aspx
  6. Gucciardi, Anthony. "Flu Shots Contain More than 250 times the EPA's Safety Limit for Mercury".
Letter to
Erlanger Health System Infection Control Director
Erlanger Health System Infection Control Director,

I am writing to you out of concern for Erlanger's new mandate that all of its employees receive the influenza vaccination as a condition of employment. I realize this is a controversial issue, but for some employees that I have talked to, there is a real fear of taking vaccines due to the abundance of information available regarding their potential risks. I believe that vaccines Erlanger feels are important should be offered, but not forced upon their employees. I have asked others who believe this is a personal decision that should be decided by the individual healthcare worker to sign this petition. My research has led me to discover that imposing such a mandate is legal in the state of Tennessee. However, just because something is legal, doesn't necessarily mean it's the right thing to do.

Below are some of the reasons one may not want to receive the flu shot and should be able to opt out for philosophical/personal objections if they so choose:

1) Dr. J. Anthony Morris (former Chief Vaccine Control Officer at the FDA) states: "There is no evidence that any influenza vaccine thus far developed is effective in preventing or mitigating any attack of influenza. The producers of these vaccines know that they are worthless, but they go on selling them anyway."
2) Direct from the 2012-2013 FDA website's FLUVIRIN® Formula information page: "FLUVIRIN® has not been evaluated for carcinogenic or mutagenic potential, or for impairment of fertility.”
3) FLUVIRIN® contains two and half times the formaldehyde (embalming fluid and a known carcinogen according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human services) as the level listed as "an immediate danger to life and health" by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.
4) Flu shots contain thimerosal (49% mercury, a toxic chemical, by volume) as a preservative, in the amount of 25 micrograms. This is 250 times the EPA's safety limit of exposure
5) Erlanger employees are responsible people who will opt to wear a mask should they exhibit any flu symptoms or will stay home from work when necessary.
6) "The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is a strong supporter of appropriate education, ready access and signed declination statements for HCP vaccinations... Influenza vaccination exemptions should be allowed for HCP with valid medical contraindications to vaccinations, or religious and/or personal objections.” 
⁃ OSHA: "Every year there are numerous circulating strains of influenza that are not included in the vaccine. In years where the antigenic match is good, the vaccine only provides protection against the 3 strains in the formulation. In years when the antigenic match is poor, the vaccine may provide no protection at all. The limits of current influenza vaccine technology are especially problematic in the context of a mandatory influenza vaccination program that results in job loss. Lastly, reliance on a mandatory influenza vaccination policy may provide healthcare workers, health care facility management and patients with an unwarranted sense of security and result in poor adherence to other infection control practices that prevent all types of infections, not just influenza. Influenza vaccination has always been just one part of a comprehensive multi-layered infection control program."

“The Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS), a national organization of physicians in all specialties founded in 1943 to preserve the sanctity of the patient-physician relationship, objects strenuously to any coercion of healthcare personnel to receive influenza immunization.” The AAPS further states, “It is a fundamental human right not to be subjected to medical interventions without fully informed consent.” The National Vaccine Information Center states, "It is unfair, irresponsible and unethical for employers to force health care workers to choose between their health, their deeply held spiritual or
conscientious beliefs or their job."

If not this year, it is my sincere hope that Erlanger will reconsider imposing vaccination mandates on its employees in the future. Thank you for your time and consideration.


Sincerely,


Beth Jolley, MA, CCC-SLP
Speech-Language Pathologist
Erlanger employee for five and a half years

Sources:
1. http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/physician-resources/medical-ethics/code-medical-ethics/opinion9133.page
2. Wrangham,Theresa, NVIC Executive Director. "Labor Unions Oppose Mandatory Flu Shots as AMA Cherry-Picks Ethics to Endorse Vaccine Mandates"
http://www.nvic.org/NVIC-Vaccine-News/August-2012/labor-unions-oppose-mandatory-flu-shots-as-ama-che.aspx
3. Alan Phillips, J.D. "Vaccine philosophical exemptions: A moral and ethical imperative" http://www.naturalnews.com/031389_vaccines_philosophical_exemptions.html
4. http://www.fda.gov/downloads/BiologicsBloodVaccines/Vaccines/ApprovedProducts/ucm123694.pdf
5. Mercola. "Tell Your Doctor: If You Don't Show Me This, You're Breaking the Law" http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2012/03/25/defending-vaccine-exemptions.aspx
6. Gucciardi, Anthony. "Flu Shots Contain More than 250 times the EPA's Safety Limit for Mercury".