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Pregnant nurse fired after refusing flu shot due to miscarriage fears

Vials of flu vaccine.AP Photo/Matt Rourke

A pregnant Pennsylvania nurse has been fired from her job with a health care company after she refused to get a flu shot because she was afraid of miscarrying.

Dreonna Breton was terminated from her job at Horizons Healthcare Services Dec. 17 after she did not comply with a company mandate that requires all employees to receive the influenza vaccine.

The 29-year-old tells WGAL she has suffered two miscarriages this year, and was worried the vaccine may not be safe for pregnant women.

Breton, who also has a toddler son, says she offered to wear a mask at work as a possible alternative solution.

“I want to give this baby the best shot that I can,” she told WGAL. “There are just things in the flu vaccine that are not known, like how it affects my growing baby.”

Breton’s nurse midwife also wrote a letter to her employer asking Breton be exempt from the shot, but the company denied her request.

Company spokesman Alan Peterson says it's unconscionable for a health care worker not to be immunized, and pregnant women are more susceptible to the flu.

However, Breton says she stands by her decision.

“I do believe I did the right thing, and the right outcome will happen,” she told WGAL. 

Federal officials say the flu causes about 200,000 hospitalizations annually.

The Associated Press contributed to this report