2014 News Archive

MNA Files Complaint Against Brigham & Women's Hospital to Stop Mandatory Flu Vaccination Policy


The Massachusetts Nurses Association has filed a complaint against Brigham & Women’s Hospital in Superior Court opposing their proposed mandatory flu vaccination policy, which would subject a nurse to discipline up to and including termination for refusing the vaccine

The state regulations around this issue are crystal clear. A hospital cannot mandate that a nurse be vaccinated, only that they be provided with information and the opportunity to be vaccinated. It further clearly states that hospitals cannot take punitive action against a nurse who declines to be vaccinated.

The Brigham’s policy violates this regulation and the clearly expressed right of nurses to decline vaccination without fear of retribution, so we are asking the court to help us ensure the law is followed and the Brigham respects the rights of nurses.

Beyond the specifics of the lawsuit, the MNA as an organization opposes mandatory flu vaccination because:

  • Many nurses have had severe reactions to the vaccine, and, nationally, there have been thousands of serious documented reactions to these vaccines in recent years.
  • The flu vaccines are at best an educated guess (between 50 – 60 percent effective) with no guarantee of preventing a specific flu.
  • Nurses take great pains to employ infection control practices to prevent flu transmission
  • And even when we vaccinate workers, there are no policies to ensure that the thousands of visitors who come in and out of the hospital are vaccinated and take proper precautions to prevent spread of the virus.

This lawsuit is about holding an employer accountable for following law and seeks to protect the individual rights of nurses to dictate what goes into their bodies.