RICHMOND, Va. (CBSDC) – A Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center employee claims she’s been ordered to get a flu shot or be fired.

The employee, who has asked to remain anonymous, told WWBT-TV she formal asked for a medical exemption because the vaccine could be dangerous to her health, but the hospital refused her request.

“I’m being faced with the idea of either, losing my position, being terminated, or going against my physicians wishes and having the flu vaccine,” the employee said.

The Medical Center has a policy that any employees who aren’t vaccinated or exempt from vaccination will be put on unpaid leave as of December 1st. If they still have not received the vaccine by January 1st, they’re fired.

“It’s scary,” the employee said. “I have a family. We are like a normal family. We are not rich. We need me to be employed.”

VCU would not comment on this case, but did say in a statement: “VCU Health offered several free and convenient vaccine clinics for team members to receive the vaccination. A preservative-free and egg-free vaccine is also available.”

The employee told the station she doesn’t know why her request for an exemption was denied.

“I put in a call to HR, and it hasn’t been returned yet,” she said. “I was just notified of this the day before Thanksgiving.”

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