Healthcare News & Insights

Hospital fires 9 who refuse H1N1 shot for religious reasons

Few hospitals have gone as far as The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia in requiring staffers to get the H1N1 flu vaccine.

As reported on, CHOP is firing nine long-time employees for refusing to get vaccinated.

CHOP requires all employees to get vaccinated, but will make exceptions for medical reasons or religious beliefs. But unlike other hospitals which require the non-vaccinating staff to sign a waiver, CHOP has a panel that reviews the legitimacy of each claim.

Convince the panel your beliefs are “sincere” and you can get a waiver. If they don’t believe you, you’re on the unemployment line.

One of those whose beliefs were found to be insufficiently “sincere” is Rodney Bond, a 31-year vet of environmental services, who claims to be an herbalist with a spiritual system that won’t allow him to get any vaccine.

In the local community, the move is drawing criticism from those who see an employer stiffing loyal staff. There’s also a significant amount of support from those who note that CHOP treats some of the sickest pediatric patients — patients who are at the highest risk for life-threatening complications from H1N1.

Did CHOP go too far, or is it just doing what it takes to protect its patients? Sound off in the comments.

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  1. Wow! This is extreme and discrimination. Say hello to lawsuits. Also sounds like the panel is playing god on judgement day. Talk about the judge, jury and executionor.

  2. Kira Stoiken says:

    What does this establish, then? If vaccination is then REQUIREMENT of employment, and said employee claims sickness based on being vaccinated – Fibromalaysia, or some other sort of immunological response – can the employee then claim Workers Comp? If there were some sort of reaction, is the employer then legally responsible?

  3. If my child was being treated there I would want to know that the person looking after him was vaccinated. In fact having just had a friend die of flu (which I am sure she contracted in the hospital two weeks after a cardiac bypass) I would insist that only vaccinated staff care for my child. People with flu are contagious about 24 hours before they develop symptoms – so saying no work if you are ill is not sufficient.

  4. You have a right to not be vaccinated. But you don’t have a right to infect others. You want to work in a hospital? You need to be vaccinated. Fire away CHOP