© T. Grace Emori / CDC

“Get jab or lose job?” – Nurse upset at ultimatum

“They never coerced us into taking the flu vaccination.”

Unvaccinated nurses are feeling increasingly pressured into taking a vaccine, according to one nurse who received notice from her agency that, at the behest of a HSE hospital group, they would either have to take a Covid-19 vaccine or hope to find a job elsewhere.

Emails seen by Gript.ie show one agency advising staff to send proof of their vaccination status, or else face the prospect of applying for a small number of jobs elsewhere that don’t involve patients.

Nurses, midwives, healthcare assistants and student nurses were told they could get a vaccine if they wish, and to send the agency proof of vaccination by next week.

The agency said it would try to find unvaccinated staff work that didn’t involve patients, but warned that most of the company’s work involves patients.

One Dublin nurse said the policy now being implemented amounted to discrimination.

“I have worked long and hard in college and on the wards as a nurse, so this level of disrespect for our caution around the vaccine shows just how little they think of us,” the nurse said.

“If the vaccine and masks work, then the HSE should have really nothing to worry about, because patients will already be protected themselves, but the truth is that this is just another overreaction by health authorities on a power trip.

“We were never coerced into taking the flu vaccine, a virus that usually contributes to the deaths of a lot of vulnerable people, so this sudden willingness to discriminate against those who don’t want the Covid-19 vaccine is over the top.

“Are they going to start refusing treatment for unvaccinated people too?”

The Human Resources section of the RCSI Hospital Group, which runs several major hospitals, had emailed agencies to tell them “all short-term temporary and locum agency placements being allocated to the Hospital Group must be vaccinated in advance of deployment to us.”

The news comes after the Data Protection Commissioner this week said the HSE may be entitled to demand the vaccination status of frontline workers, although other employers outside of healthcare are not.

The Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) had set out a process in May of dealing with unvaccinated staff, suggesting they first be given information, then talked to one-on-one about the vaccine, and eventually tested and given extra PPE, but the HSE has more recently confirmed it can “redeploy” staff who refuse to take a vaccine.

With unvaccinated HSE staff already being moved, the fate of unvaccinated agency staff who may not be retained at all remains to be seen.

Elsewhere, healthcare workers in France were this week told by Emmanuel Macron that they will have to take a Covid-19 vaccine or have their pay suspended by the health service in September.

Share mdi-share-variant mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-printer mdi-chevron-left Prev Next mdi-chevron-right Related
Comments are open

The biggest problem Ireland faces right now is:

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...