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Tacoma, Washington, resident Jamie Smith faces a stark choice: Get a flu shot or lose her foster child. The state of Washington could take Smith’s two-week-old foster son if she and her family do not get the flu vaccine.
All foster families with children under two are now required by Washington State’s Department of Social & Health Services (DSHS) to get flu shots, TV station KOMO reported.
She is willing, she says, to let the state take the foster baby in order to avoid vaccinating her other children. She has five children.
“I’ve done a lot of research on it and I don’t like some of the side effects that it has,” Smith told the station. “Unfortunately, I have to think about our kids who are in the house first and to me they’re more important, their safety, than trying to fight to keep this little guy.”
Forced Vaccinations in Seattle
The foster mom wants to help stop the forced vaccination of foster families.
“I’m hoping that we can raise enough of a voice so that the state will give waivers so the children will not be taken out of their homes,” Smith said.
There is a shortage of foster families in Washington, and forced vaccination will make the situation worse, she said.
She faces a deadline of the end of February. The state defended its policy.
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“Our rules are designed to protect the safety and well-being of children, which is the sole focus of DSHS Children’s Administration,” a Department press release stated. “We selected this age group because these are the children who are most vulnerable to illness. We are examining issues being brought to our attention now and have made no decisions regarding changes.”
Seven other babies have come through her home, Smith said.
Nurses Forced to Get Vaccinated
Smith is not the only person fighting forced vaccination in Washington State. KOMO reported that the Washington State Nurses Association has sued the hospital company MultiCare over its forced vaccination policy.
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“Some nurses have been forced to take the vaccine even though they have personal or religious objection because they’re afraid of losing their jobs,” Heather Stephen-Selby of the nurses unions told KOMO. The union filed a suit against MultiCare, which operates Tacoma General Hospital and Good Samaritan Hospital in Puyallup, Washington.
“If they don’t comply they can be fired, and that’s a completely different animal than we’ve seen in the past,” Stephen-Selby said of the policy.
No other healthcare system in Washington State has a mandatory vaccination policy, she said.
The union is representing two nurses who refused to get vaccinated and are afraid of losing their jobs.
“This is an impossible situation for me,” one of the nurses wrote. “I am terrified of the implications that losing my job would entail.” That nurse wants to skip the vaccination because she’s allergic to eggs; some vaccines contain egg material.
Strangely enough, the flu vaccine at the center of the controversy may not even work. Data from the CDC shows that this year’s flu vaccine is only 23 percent effective, Fox News reported.
Do you believe foster families should be forced to get the flu shot? Share your thoughts in the section below:
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