Mandatory flu shots shot down

By Asha Tomlinson
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 11/04/2002

It's flu shot season again and paramedics in Ontario are free this year to choose whether they’ll take the vaccine or not. Health Minister Tony Clement announced last month that ambulance workers will no longer be required to take the flu shot to stay on the job.

The announcement comes after a two-year battle between paramedics and the province over mandatory influenza immunization. The union argued employers should not have the right to force employees to take the shot.

“We’re not opposed to flu shots,” said Sid Ryan, president of the Canadian Union of Public Employees, the union representing the Ontario paramedics. “But they should not be forced on employees no matter how noble the cause. (The members) sincerely believe they should have the right to dictate what goes into their own bodies.”