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Colorado Nurses Association Opposes Mandatory Flu Shot Policy

DENVER (CBS4)- The Colorado Nurses Association opposes the mandatory flu shot policy practiced by many hospitals across the state.

While they support flu shots they believe the policy is misguided. The association said firing nurses and other health care workers for refusing to get a flu shot is wrong. They believe it should be a matter of individual choice.

CBS4 Investigator Rick Sallinger previously reported that many hospitals in Colorado have given their employees an ultimatum: give a flu shot by the end of the year or they face suspension. Some hospitals have a policy that mandates everyone receive a flu shot.

RELATED STORY: Hospital Employees' Jobs In Jeopardy If They Don't Get Flu Shot

The only exemption is for medical reasons and those employees must wear a face mask.

The flu shot requirement is being implemented now even though the State of Colorado only requires more than half of all employees to receive the vaccination. All health care employees must be compliant in the state by 2015.

"Immunization is good. It is the right and proper thing to do to protect patients. There are ways to get compliance that don't have to be mandates that don't have to be harsh employment policies," said Colorado Nurses Association spokeswoman Fran Ricker.

"Hospitals believe all employees should be vaccinated are are moving in that direction right now and not waiting for the 2015 deadline. They believe it is important to move forward right now and are working with all their employees," said Colorado Hospital Association CEO and President Steve Summer.

At Exempla Lutheran Hospital, employees are given stickers to put on their employee badges to show they have received a flu shot. The Colorado Nurses Association believes this is a form of discrimination by singling out those who have not been immunized.

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