A concerned citizen from College Station, Texas, came forward voicing concerns about a new flu vaccine mandate. Candice Darnold advised VacTruth that a friend is frustrated with her daughter’s daycare. The daycare sent out a letter recently, stating that their board had a meeting and decided that all staff members will be mandated to get the flu vaccine. Any staff that didn’t comply would have to wear a face mask and gloves throughout the flu season, through February.
Employers should promote a stigma-free workplace, and making employees wear a mask and gloves while teaching is discriminatory. Concerned about being discriminated against for refusing the vaccine, a staff member submitted a response letter to the daycare. The Board replied in defense of their decision on the matter, not giving employees any other option.
Some staff members worried they would lose families who learned they didn’t vaccinate or because they didn’t want to associate with “mask wearers.” Staff members refusing the vaccine were left wondering what can be done, if anything, to support their choice without being discriminated against. Starting a teacher’s union could give them a needed voice.[adrotate banner=”10″]
According to the CDC, There is No Proof Wearing a Mask Will Prevent Influenza
This practice of wearing a mask and gloves won’t effectively prevent the spread of germs, either. People still have to touch things in their environment; with or without gloves, germs will get around. And the recipients of certain flu vaccines can shed for a few weeks, exposing many around them to the influenza virus.
Stated directly from the CDC:
“No recommendation can be made at this time for mask use in the community by asymptomatic persons, including those at high risk for complications, to prevent exposure to influenza. If unvaccinated high-risk persons decide to wear masks during periods of increased respiratory illness activity in the community, it is likely they will need to wear them any time they are in a public place and when they are around other household members.”
“However, no studies have definitively shown that mask use by either infectious patients or health-care personnel prevents influenza transmission.” 
Health Doesn’t Comes Through a Needle
There are life and death consequences from getting the flu shot. This is why many decline the vaccine. One major concern of those being mandated to get a flu shot is the high amount of adverse reactions reported. There was no mention of this in the letter from the CPCC Board, but research shows many dangerous adverse reactions to the flu vaccine:
“As of November 2013, there have been more than 93,000 reports of reactions, hospitalizations, injuries and deaths following influenza vaccinations made to the federal Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS), including 1,080 related deaths, 8,888 hospitalizations, 1,801 related disabilities and over 1,700 cases of GBS. In 2013 the Federal Advisory Commission on Childhood Vaccines (ACCV) voted to add GBS to the Vaccine Injury Table within the federal Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP).” 
Please note that most reactions go unreported. Multiply these numbers by ten to paint a more accurate picture. According to the FDA, only one to ten percent of reactions are reported to VAERS.
Wearing a Mask Disrupts Teaching
It would be difficult for a teacher to communicate and bond with children while wearing a mask and gloves. It would be harder to speak clearly and harder for the students to understand their teachers. Requiring a teacher to wear a mask while teaching children who are at a young age, when language development and conversation is so critical, would diminish the student’s ability to see their teacher smiling at them or witness other facial expressions in detail.
Can An Employee Be Forced to Wear a Mask that Stigmatizes Them?
An employee can be asked to wear a mask if they don’t agree with this policy and do not accept the risks of getting the flu vaccine. Like any other job, employers can make requirements of their employees, but the presence of that mask places a stigma on the person, and it also shows that they questioned authority.
Others may not want to associate with “mask wearers,” not because they are spreading disease by not getting vaccinated, but rather to avoid peer pressure from society. They don’t want to associate with those who stand out because they don’t want to be ridiculed.
Can Claiming a Religious Exemption Help Employees?
There are legitimate reasons people are religiously against vaccines because of what they are made of. If one claims a religious exemption, bear in mind that “religion” is a matter of “ultimate concern” or something you take very seriously, as defined in US vs. Seeger. If you claim a religious exemption, it becomes a violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 for an employer to force you to wear a mask.
There is no law that a person has to wear a mask, so there’s no exemption. However, if you opt to file a religious exemption to avoid the vaccine, it’s always recommended that you use the language in your state law as it applies to school children if there is no exemption for healthcare workers or educators.
Although this doesn’t directly prevent your employer from asking you to wear a mask, it is the language recognized in your particular state and will often stand up in court.
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964
Title VII states, “it shall be an unlawful employment practice for an employer –
(1) to fail or refuse to hire or to discharge any individual, or otherwise to discriminate against any individual with respect to his compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment, because of such individual’s race, color, religion, sex, or national origin; or
(2) to limit, segregate, or classify his employees or applicants for employment in any way which would deprive or tend to deprive any individual of employment opportunities or otherwise adversely affect his status as an employee, because of such individual’s race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. 
This isn’t necessarily a way out, but if a person writes a letter stating that vaccines conflict with their religious beliefs, and that Title VII prevents them from discriminating with respect to conditions, one could have a shot. No pun intended!
Here is the Letter the Board Sent to Staff and Parents
We have implemented a flu vaccine policy for CPCC staff this year, and we want to make you aware.
Licensing requires that we include our flu shot policy in the employee handbook, so we reviewed it during one of our regular board meetings. Last year, the Bear teachers were required to get the flu shot since they handle babies that are not old enough to receive the vaccine. Knowing that other teachers are in and out of the baby room from time to time, and some of the babies have siblings at CPCC that can spread the virus, we decided it would be best to require the flu shot for all staff. If staff do not have health insurance, CPCC will pay for the shot. We are also having an on-site flu clinic Friday, November 14th. If staff choose not to get the vaccine, they will be required to wear a mask at all times while in the building for the remainder of the flu season which runs through February.
We’ve done our research and spoken with numerous health professionals, and we maintain that this is the best policy in order to protect the children at CPCC which is our number one priority. This is not an uncommon policy for children’s centers. Several others in town including TAMU, St. Joes, and St. Thomas Aquinas are instating the same or similar policies. Also, anyone working in the medical field including the administrative side are generally required to get a flu vaccine.
If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to the board. We’re happy to speak with you any time.
The CPCC Board”
This is a Letter Written by One Staff Member in Response
I wanted to take the time to share my thoughts on your recent digression into health care policy making.
With the start of Obamacare and the forced requirement of mandatory health insurance, I have seen a continued trail down more and more oversight by public and private entities looking to invoke what they deem best for all individuals. Removing individual rights in a vain attempt to improve overall outcomes is akin to the fallacy that socialism is built on.
One of your stated reasons below include that by forcing teachers to get the flu shot, you are protecting OUR children from getting the flu. How does a teacher getting a flu shot / wearing a mask prevent our children from coming in contact with:
- other children at the school?
- people outside of school?
- the child’s own parents?
- anyone other than the 20 teachers who take the flu shot/wear a mask?
Secondly, ostracizing individual teachers who don’t conform to your personal health care views by requiring them to wear a mask is very reminiscent of an oppressor enacting their rule.
Also, you cited the “me too” mentality that everyone is doing it, but in doing so, you have not seen the litigation and creation of workplace unions. These same cited entities are backing down due to the negative fiscal downside that their decisions cause. With your decision to mandate health care, you increase the chance of litigation and creation of teacher unions, which put the entire school at risk. (References: http://bit.ly/1wvnutX ) Ask any small or large business who has experienced what the hourly cost of a corporate trained union negotiator is and they will say resoundingly “too much!” The AFL-CIO is only too happy to bring in more dues and its super simple to start a union in ANY business. (Reference: Wal-Mart forced to close its meat packing department companywide after small group started union vote).
In closing, I’m all for protecting our children, and this job of taking care of our children’s health care needs is best left to the parents, not boards, business, or governments.
To read the Board’s response and have access to this letter for your use, click here.
Concerns About Flu Vaccine Mandates Will Continue
People from all over are concerned about flu vaccine mandates. Learn what is in these drugs if you don’t already know. If you tell an employee to get the flu shot or be stigmatized, you should also discuss with them what to do if they get injured from the vaccine.
How would you feel if your employee’s health declined because of your new policy? Will you help them pay for medical costs? Vaccine recipients don’t have much recourse if they get injured, paralyzed, or die from the vaccine. Vaccination is at your own risk.
In recent times, people have come forward with concerns about school kids and staff suffering immediate and severe nosebleeds after getting the Flumist vaccine. Nosebleeds, drooping of the eyelid or mouth, and many more side effects worse than getting the flu naturally are listed on the package insert. It is stated you may not be protected from the flu and that the vaccine has not been evaluated for its carcinogenic or mutagenic potential or its potential to impair fertility.
Considering the side effects listed are worse than getting the flu naturally, those are big risks some people may not want to take. Some teachers will fall ill from the vaccine and will not be able to come to work, requiring substitute teachers to fill in.
Students are missing days from school after getting the flu vaccine or from getting sick from newly vaccinated teachers through shedding. Students and teachers are being hospitalized after these mass vaccinations at school, caused by the vaccines even though the relation is denied.
The Board mentioned nothing about these concerns in their letter; why not? Staff members are frustrated because the Board doesn’t seem too concerned that they are asking their employees to receive a possibly lethal vaccine, and one that is well-documented to cause nerve damage.
US News recently published this:
“The Government Accountability Office’s report, released Friday, noted how a program established a generation ago to help children injured by government-recommended vaccinations such as measles and chicken pox is now dominated by claims filed by adults who received a flu shot. Those cases typically claim that the adult suffered from Guillain-Barre Syndrome, in which the immune system attacks the nerves.” 
Many of us who choose not to vaccinate used to trust the vaccines until they harmed us or someone we love. Teachers’ concerns are understandable and they are discussing the start of a teacher’s union to help give them a voice because these mandates can negatively affect their overall health or cause discrimination in the workplace.
If you decline the vaccine and cannot get around the mandate, maybe your students can help you decorate your mask with pride. Perhaps this will lead to a new trend when they learn why you didn’t vaccinate.
[feature_box style=”17″ title=”References” alignment=”center”]
- http://www.usnews.com/news/us/articles/2014/11/21/feds-vows-to-publicize-vaccine-injury-help- program