Hospital staffs fired for refusing coronavirus vaccine in the US

More than 150 employees at the Houston Methodist hospital in Texas were fired or resigned after failing to comply with orders to get a Covid-19 vaccination to continue working there. Picture: Francois Picard/AFP
More than a hundred staff have lost their jobs after a rule to make covid jabs mandatory prompted a furious reaction and even a lawsuit. 

A judge has dismissed a lawsuit brought by lead plaintiff and nurse Jennifer Bridges in response to Houston Methodist Hospital in Texas bringing in a mandatory vaccine mandate for all staff in April.

In the lawsuit, published online by the New York Times, Ms Bridges claimed staff should be exempt from the rule as the “currently available Covid-19 vaccines are experimental and dangerous”.

But US District Judge Lynn Hughes rejected Ms Bridges’ vaccine claim as false.

“Methodist is trying to do their business of saving lives without giving them the Covid-19 virus. It is a choice made to keep staff, patients, and their families safer,” Judge Hughes wrote.

“Bridges can freely choose to accept or refuse a Covid-19 vaccine; however, if she refuses, she will simply need to work somewhere else.”

Ms Bridges also likened Houston Methodist’s plans to fire staff who did not get the jab to “forced medical experimentation during the Holocaust”.

“Equating the injection requirement to medical experimentation in concentration camps is reprehensible,” Judge Hughes said in response.

“Nazi doctors conducted medical experiments on victims that caused pain, mutilation, permanent disability, and in many cases, death.”

Houston Methodist, which employees more than 25,000 people, became the first major medical provider in the US to make vaccines for staff mandatory, giving them until June 7 to comply.

After June 7, 178 employees were suspended for two weeks and by the end of the fortnight 153 staff had either been terminated or quit for failing to get the jab, NPR reports.

In a statement released earlier this month, Houston Methodist CEO Marc Boom said he wasn’t surprised by the reaction to the vaccine rule.

“As of today, we are nearly 100 per cent compliant with our Covid-19 vaccine mandate with 24,947 of us being fully vaccinated,” he said in a statement, CNN reported.

“Houston Methodist is officially the first hospital system in the country to achieve this goal for the benefit of its patients.”

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