(KMSP) - In July, Dr. David Laposky celebrated 30 years as a physician in Pine River, Minn.--a distinguished career that came to an abrupt halt earlier this month over a seemingly innocuous flu shot.
Laposky was among around 50 others who were fired from Essentia Health for refusing to get the vaccination. He believes he's the only doctor at the company to not receive the vaccination.
"The 17th was my last day, it was real sad," he said. "I shed some tears. I don’t cry easily, but I did that day.”
The company mandated that all of its staff and volunteers get vaccinated or face termination, though several exemptions were made for religious beliefs or medical reasons--though Laposky's reasons didn't fall under either of those camps.
In 30 years of practicing medicine, he says, the veteran doctor has never come down with the flu, leading him to believe the vaccine's pesky side effects are more trouble than they're worth.
"I just made the decision," he said. "I wanted to take a stand against anybody telling someone what they have to do especially when it comes to an invasive procedure. That’s totally against what medicine has stood for in the past.”
Essentia maintains that immunizing its workers significantly reduces the risk of patients coming down with the flu while receiving care at one of their facilities, which are primarily located in northern Minnesota.
Meanwhile, Laposky stresses he is in no way anti-vaccine, he just wants people to decide for themselves what's right.