A Tacoma Washington foster mother says that she’d rather lose the child she’s caring for than submit to a mandatory flu shot order.
The rule requires that all parents and children younger than 2 years-old in foster homes be vaccinated against the flu, but Jamie Smith, a foster mother of seven, refuses to expose herself or the children in her home to the flu vaccine, because she says it contains mercury and could cause brain damage.
“I’ve done a lot of research on it and I don’t like some of the side effects that it has,” said Smith according to a report from KOMONews.
“I’ve thought about that a lot,” said Smith. “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.”
She isn’t getting the shot, but her electrician husband did. He works for MultiCare and they require all employees to get a shot. Nurses at Multicare’s Tacoma General and Good Samaritan Hospitals are suing the company over its insistence they get flu shots or face termination.
“It is serious,” said Heather Stephens-Selby of the Washington State Nurses Association.
Now the foster families who handle young foster children are under the same gun. They hope by speaking out the state will ease up and keep the foster families together.
“I’m hoping that we can raise enough of a voice that the state will at least give waivers or do something so the children won’t be taken out of their homes,” Smith said.
The Department of Social and Health Services, which oversees foster care, issued a statement in response, saying that the “rules are designed to protect the safety and well-being of children, which is the sole focus of DSHS Children’s Administration. 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.”
Watch a report from KOMONews in the video below: