Some companies, especially those in the health care fields, require their employees to get flu shots each year. A newly released bill would make it illegal for employers to require employees to get flu shots.
Republican Representative Christina Hagan says she hears from Ohioans who have been in their fields for decades, especially those in medical careers, who continue to lose their jobs or be penalized because they refuse to get a flu vaccine. She says there’s no good reason for any employer to require employees to get the shot. “I think it’s wise to rely on data and there is no data that drives the opposition’s assumption,” Hagan says. She explains people often get flu despite getting the vaccine. And she says the flu shot can cause illness or even death for some people.
The Ohio Department of Health doesn’t track flu deaths for adults 18 years of age or older but says a handful of children died from it last year. Hagan has introduced the bill several times and it’s gone nowhere in the past, but she thinks lawmakers may feel differently about flu vaccines now.