Ross Levitt and Susan Candiotti
October 16, 2009

A New York judge denied a request Wednesday for a temporary restraining order barring the state from mandating flu vaccines for health care workers but left open that possibility pending another hearing on the matter next week.

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New York State Health Commissioner Richard Daines has mandated that workers who have contact with patients be vaccinated for seasonal flu and the H1N1 variety, also called swine flu, or face losing their jobs.

Upstate New York nurse Sue Field objected to the mandate, saying that only the state legislature has the power to enact such a mandate and that the mandate is too narrow, since it allows an exception only for medical reasons.

Field has a note from her doctor saying she had side effects from the seasonal flu shot in 2007, but the Health Department deemed the note insufficient because the symptoms were not among a list of severe symptoms, such as an allergic reaction. Field said she has not been vaccinated since 2007.

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