By STEPHANIE BARISH – wpix.com
4:50 PM EDT, October 16, 2009
ALBANY, N.Y. (WPIX) – New York’s second-largest public employee union is challenging a state requirement making it essential for all health care workers to be vaccinated for the swine flu virus.
The Public Employees Federation filed a lawsuit Friday, claiming the State Health Commissioner Richard Daines, overstepped his boundaries. Under the policy, workers would have to be vaccinated by Nov. 30 or they could face possible disciplinary action, including dismissal.
As result, a judge ordered a temporary halt to mandatory flu vaccine for state health care workers.
In addition, the group is looking to seek federal injunction to halt nationwide distribution of the H1N1 vaccine, claiming it is a new drug and must go through rounds of testing before it can be deemed safe.
The Food and Drug Administration announced Sept. 15 they had approved the vaccine for distribution. The agency says the vaccine is simply a change in the strain from the typical seasonal flu and doesn’t require testing as a new drug.
Four U.S. firms have reportedly been approved to produce the vaccine under federal contract.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, has advised that all pregnant women, health care workers, people between the ages of 25-64 and individuals working with children under 6 months of age get the vaccine.