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Houston hospital staff walks out of coronavirus vaccine mandate

Dozens of employees at a Houston hospital protested Monday night. About policies that require employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19

Houston Methodist Hospital told staff they must be vaccinated on Monday. Last month, 117 Houston Methodist employees filed a lawsuit against their employer over the vaccine policy.

Although the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that health officials vaccinate the flu. and some hospital systems require But few companies are required to vaccinate against COVID-19. Although the federal government has advised that employers can provide vaccines for on-site workers.

Executives, lawyers and consultants who advise companies say many companies are still hesitant. Due to lengthy legal considerations The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission says it must comply before vaccinations are ordered. Some companies say they are careful to impose mandates until the vaccine is fully approved by the Food and Drug Administration. which until now has been authorized for emergency use.

Jennifer Bridges, the nurse who led the Houston Methodist protest, claimed it had not received full FDA approval for the shot. which is why she was not vaccinated

Vaccination reluctance is high among frontline health workers: Surveys show nearly half remained unvaccinated as of mid-March, despite being the first to be eligible for vaccination in December. A March 2021 survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation found that public health officials were concerned about the vaccine’s newness and potential side effects. Both of which are common reasons for waiting for vaccinations.

On Monday evening, dozens of Houston Methodist employees gathered outside the hospital system facility in Baytown, Texas, holding signs that read “VAXX IS VENOM” and “Don’t Lose Sight.” Of Our Rights”

“If we don’t stop and make some changes. Everyone has to overthrow,” Bridges told local media, referring to the protests. “It will create a domino effect. Everyone across the country will be forced to take things they don’t want and that’s not right.”

Those who do not meet the hospital’s vaccination schedule on Monday will be suspended without pay for two weeks. If the hospital’s vaccine requirements are not met by June 21, Houston Methodist will “start the employee termination process.”

The worker’s lawsuit accused the hospital of “Forcing employees to be human ‘guinea pigs’ as a condition for continued employment.”

In a statement, Houston Methodist said that as of Monday, nearly 100 percent of the company’s 26,000 employees had adhered to the vaccine policy. The hospital said it was aware that some employees who failed to meet the vaccine requirements planned to protest Monday. And they invited other employees to join as well.

“We fully encourage our employees to gather peacefully on their own time. But it is unacceptable to recommend them to abandon their patients to participate in this activity,” the hospital said. “We are confident that our staff will continue to put our patients first. Unfortunately, the current Houston Methodist milestone of becoming the safest hospital system in the country is being overshadowed by a few disgruntled employees.”

On Monday, Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed a law that barred businesses or government agencies in the state from requiring vaccine passports. or digital proof of vaccination by joining states such as Florida and Arkansas. It is unclear whether the new law will affect the mandate of employers such as the Houston Methodist.

In some industries, including aviation, employers are taking a central approach, Delta Air Lines, which is selling vaccines outside the Aviation Museum in Atlanta. said in May that It strongly encourages current employees to be vaccinated and required to be re-hired.

United Airlines, after reviewing the comprehensive order said last week that It will require anyone employed in the United States after June 15 to provide proof of vaccination within one week of initiation. Exceptions may be made for people with medical or religious reasons not to be vaccinated, the company added.

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