Jab or job II: Pharmacist with auto-immune disease says her medical exemption was overridden by Anchorage hospital - Must Read Alaska
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Tuesday, October 19, 2021
HomePoliticsJab or job II: Pharmacist with auto-immune disease says her medical exemption was overridden by Anchorage hospital

Jab or job II: Pharmacist with auto-immune disease says her medical exemption was overridden by Anchorage hospital

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This is the second in a series of stories from Alaska medical professionals who are losing their jobs because they will not take the Covid-19 vaccine. They asked that their names be kept anonymous. This is the testimony of “Janice,” a pharmacist in Anchorage.

Janice has worked as a pharmacist in Anchorage for four years, but has worked in pharmacy since she got a job as a pharmacy technician when she was 17. Her mother always told her to study for a career in health care, because she would always have a job.

But her job is ending next month at an Anchorage hospital because she is not going to take the Covid-19 vaccine. Janice has an auto-immune disorder and provided what she said is a legitimate letter from her doctor saying that the vaccine could make her condition flare up. But the hospital refused to honor the exemption, and so this pharmacist and young mother will be fired.

Janice is the primary income provider for her family, and she’s concerned about making ends meet, although she believes she can pick up part-time or substitute work around the city. It troubles her that she still has significant student loans to repay for her advanced pharmacy degree.

Will she move out of state? No, she said that she and her husband talked about it, but decided that Alaska is their home.

Will she sue? She said she thinks there is a basis for a lawsuit. “Certainly, if I worked at Lowe’s (home improvement store) there would definitely be a lawsuit,” she said.

Can she work remotely? She has asked to do so and said she been denied the accommodation.

Auto-immune diseases are tricky; they are hard to diagnose and difficult to treat. The CDC says that people with an auto-immune disease, such as MS, “should be aware that no data are currently available on the safety of COVID-19 vaccines for people with autoimmune conditions.”

On the other hand, those with auto-immune disease can also have very serious reactions to the virus itself, the CDC says.

It is a decision that is typically made between patient and doctor, not patient and employer. But for some medical professionals this year, the decision is now being made by their human resources department.

There is a silver lining for Janice. She has wanted to spend more time with her children, and although financially this is a major hit for her and her family, she is grateful that she is going to be able to be a more effective parent.

Have you lost your job because you won’t take the Covid-19 vaccine? Are you a medical professional? Send your information to [email protected] You will be kept anonymous.

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Written by

Suzanne Downing had careers in business and journalism before serving as the Director of Faith and Community-based Initiatives for Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and returning to Alaska to serve as speechwriter for Gov. Sean Parnell. Born on the Oregon coast, she moved to Alaska in 1969.

Latest comments

  • We are at the “cultural replacement” stage of the agenda we are witnessing.
    Workers with friends & family in AK will be forced to leave as more & more businesses adopt vaccine mandates with NO obstruction from the current administration.
    If Governor Dunleavy was going to stand up for worker’s rights….now is the time.
    State government interferes with business all the time…Gov Desantis in Florida is fighting this hard & winning for his nurses & firefighters who do not want the jab.
    He is threatening a $5,000 fine for each employee who faces vax mandates.
    Florida is starting to look better & better every day as Alaska submits to this New Normal.

    • Steve, I totally agree with you on this

    • I love Gov DeSantis for his leadership for the state of FL. Our Governor Dunleavy certainly needs to step up to the plate for Alaskans who work in the health field.
      I’m with you too on this Steve.

      • And yet DeSantis is going to lose his election run. He’s going to lose in his court battles and he’s going to lose at the poll. His popularity is waning with his inep decisions that he’s making.

        • And Greg Forkner calls himself a Republican.

          • And also mocks libertarians, without understanding in the least what libertarianism actually is.

    • Sounds kinda authoritarian to me Steve, something you might have called fascist not long ago…an authoritarian dictator threatening fines for firing people from private companies for not complying with corporate policy. Don’t get me wrong, for the most part I like Desantis, but sheesh man try and be consistent.
      Enjoy living in Florida! Let me know if you need any help moving.

      • Next you’ll be suggesting Desantis is left-wing. Heheh!

    • Steve, please go.

  • Is there no gov’t official in the state with a spine (hello Gov. Dunleavy), who will stand up to this illegal and unfair practice? I agree with the previous comment about DeSantis. I really hope that he runs for POTUS. I pray that there are lawyers smart enough to work these lawsuits.

  • This is happening because a majority of our state legislators threw a bill to protect people like her out the window, they’d rather take our PFD’s and bloat the state more.

  • Don’t look to our spineless Governor Done-Already for any principled leadership against the growing medical tyranny in Alaska. He has been either completely co-opted by TPTB, or is/was already fully on board with their Orwellian control agenda. What a sad and pathetic excuse for a leader.

  • If she has an actual medical condition that prevents her from being vaccinated then she should be exempted, if she’s been denied a medical exemption then maybe she doesn’t have an actual medically approved exemption. Seems like she should seek a second opinion on her condition and on her exemption being disapproved of.

  • Sue them into oblivion.

    Dunleavy is worthless. The actions of Mayor Bronson, who has less support but far more spine, illustrate that every day.

  • Take your case to court to have it decided one way or the other regarding employer mandatory COVID-19 vaccination. FYI: A Texas federal court has decided in favor of the employer.

    In an enlightened decision, Judge Hughes rejected the employees’ wrongful termination claim, as Texas law “only protects employees from being terminated for refusing to commit an act carrying criminal penalties to the worker,” and getting a COVID-19 vaccination is not an illegal act.

    The court found that Texas does not recognize a wrongful termination claim predicated on a violation of public policy and, even “if it did, [the hospital’s] injection requirement is consistent with public policy,” citing a 1905 U.S. Supreme Court decision that ruled that compulsory vaccination was not a violation of due process.

    The court further explained that the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s recently updated guidance provides persuasive advice that employers may require employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19, subject to reasonable accommodation requirements.

  • This is an awkward one. I agree she should not have been fired. I agree that there should be no government mandates that people should be forced to get vaccinated. I do not necessarily agree that private businesses should be prevented from setting their own rules. That is a slippery slope allowing government to run private business. One could possibly say that for very large businesses that effectively control their labor market but that is still starting down a slippery slope. I do like a lot of what Desantis has done but trying to control the cruise industry was wrong in my opinion.
    There will be no easy answers.

    • This is medical discrimination. Think about it. It’s not that hard.

  • Bring in 500 medical people to replace this lady! Spineless Alaska Politicians! This lady is doubly putting her self out there to help people! She should get a raise!!!! At least paid what the 500 will make a day!

  • You need to ask yourself why Congress is exempt, postal service exempt and others – why?

    • Congress is exempt because they don’t want to be the lab rats for experiments and they fancy themselves above us. As for the Post Office, could it be it’s because that’s who keeps tabs on you if Martial Law is declared?!

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