NY Medical Workers Upset Over Swine Flu Rule

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New York is now the first state in the U.S. to require health care workers to get a swine flu vaccine or risk termination, and the new rule is upsetting some labor unions.

Every year, healthcare workers are encouraged to get a flu shot, but only 42 percent do.

Now, some hospitals are applying extra pressure on employees, making unvaccinated workers wear masks.

"This is really designed to help protect our patients and also their co-workers as well," explained Kevin Caracciolo of Tallahassee Memorial Hospital.

The New York State Health Department is the only one in the country requiring health care workers to get a seasonal and swine flu vaccine.  Now, unions are threatening to sue.

Meanwhile, churches are even changing by ending the practice of sharing the Communion cup.  Some parishoners feel the fear of swine flu is exaggerated.

"I don't believe that I'm going to get sick receiving the body and blood of Christ," one church member said.

the Centers for Disease Control says almost all of the influenza cases circulating right now are H1N1, or swine flu.  Sickness is widespread, but generally mild.

Those hit hardest by swine flu continue to be children and young adults.

*Originally published September 25, 2009

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Lorie  Johnson

Lorie Johnson

CBN News Medical Reporter

Lorie Johnson reports on the latest information about health and wellness. Since medicine is constantly changing, she makes sure CBN News viewers are up-to-date on what they need to know in order to live a healthy life.  Follow Lorie on Twitter @LorieCBN and "like" her at Facebook.com/LorieJohnsonCBN.