Man loses job at Health First because of new flu shot requirement

Updated:

Loading

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. - A man said he is jobless after a flu shot requirement was put into effect at one of Brevard County's largest employers.

Health First is the county's first medical company to require all employees to receive flu shots. The employees had until December 15th to get the flu shot or they would lose their jobs.

Dave Stillwagon, a certified personal trainer, lost his job at one of Health First's Pro-Health & Fitness Centers because of the requirement.

"I did this because this is my passion. I love health and fitness," Stillwagon said.

He worked at the center for more than six years, but refused to get a flu shot when the company rolled out its new policy.

"I don't drink, I don't smoke, I don't take drugs by choice. I also make the choice that you can't force drugs into me," Stillwagon said.

A spokesperson from Health First said more than 98 percent of roughly 7,500 employees complied with getting the free flu shot. The company said it's "proud to have taken this bold step toward creating a healthier community."

Stillwagon feels there's not enough research into possible long-term effects of the shot and the company should also focus on non-medicinal ways to avoid getting sick.

"It's been a fantastic journey. I love the people but I think they way overstepped on this one and I can't agree with it," Stillwagon said. "If we're not willing to stand up for what we believe in, then we're lost."

The spokesperson noted that some employees were able to be excused from the flu shot requirement for medical reasons, religious reasons or if they didn't have direct patient contact.