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Pregnant nurse fired for refusing to get flu shot

By Liz Kilmer, Reporter, LKilmer@wfmz.com
Published On: Dec 30 2013 04:30:12 PM CST
Updated On: Dec 30 2013 05:19:26 PM CST

A pregnant woman who refused to get a flu shot due to her fear of miscarrying has been fired from her job with a health care company.

LANCASTER, Pa. -

A pregnant nurse said she was fired after refusing her company's required flu shot for fear of health risks.

"We came to the conclusion as a family," said Dreonna Breton, who lost her job as a home care nurse with Horizons Healthcare Services in Lancaster this month.

Breton, a mother of one, said she had faced several miscarriages before her current pregnancy and didn't want to take any chances with the flu vaccination.

Although the CDC recommends the shot for pregnant women, Breton told 69 News she found research that left her feeling uneasy.

"I really did my research," said Breton, "and what I found was [that] there aren't studies doneā€¦ that safety has not been documented, has not been studied in pregnant women. The effects are not known."

Breton said her decision was supported by both her primary care physician and obstetrician. She said each sent letters to her employer requesting she be exempt from the vaccine.

"I didn't think it would come to termination," she said.

In a statement, Horizons Healthcare Services said, "For our employees who are pregnant, we believe that the flu vaccine provides a safe and effective way of protecting a mother and her unborn child from a serious illness."

A spokesperson for the company also said it's unconscionable for a health care worker not to be immunized.

Still, Breton wanted the option of refusing the shot. She told 69 News she offered to wear a mask while working during flu season.

At this time, Breton is not considering legal action in the wake of her termination, however she isn't ruling out the possibility if it could, she said, cause employers to change policies surrounding mandatory vaccinations.

"I'm in support, if a woman wants to get a vaccine during pregnancy. That's fine. She made that decision. But I want it to be my decision. I want it to be her decision," said Breton.