More than 150 hospital workers lose their jobs after refusing to get vaccine in US
Some said the situation was similar to medical experiments performed in Nazi concentration camps.
178 people at a Houston hospital system were suspended without pay for two weeks after refusing to get a Covid vaccine, with 153 of those resigning or being fired after still refusing to get the jab.
Houston Methodist became the first major US healthcare system to make jabs compulsory when it told its employees in April that they had to get vaccinated by June 7.
In June, some 178 workers still hadn't been jabbed and were suspended as a result, with 153 of these workers then being fired or resigning when they still refused to get vaccinated. Sky News reports that in the same month 117 employees took the hospital system to court over the requirement to have the jab, saying that their situation was similar to the medical experiments performed on unwilling victims in Nazi concentration camps during the Second World War.
On 12 June, US District Judge Lynn Hughes said this comparison was "reprehensible" and threw the case out of court. Judge Hughes also said that the workers' lawsuit had falsely claimed the vaccines were experimental and dangerous, adding that the employees could work elsewhere if they didn't like the vaccine rule.
Jennifer Bridges was one of those fired and was the lead plaintiff in the case. The 39-year-old nurse said that her director had phoned her to ask if she had received the vaccine yet or even made any effort to get jabbed. When she responded "absolutely not," she was told that her employment was terminated.
She said: "We all knew we were getting fired today.
"We knew unless we took that shot to come back, we were getting fired today - there was no ifs, ands, or buts."
Bridges said she had now moved to a new job providing medical care in people's homes. I wonder whether she tells the people she visits that she's an anti-vaxxer?
The vaccine-fearing employees are now appealing against Judge Hughes's ruling, with Bridges saying that she hoped that if they won the case at a federal level then laws would be created to "protect employees from having to go through this anywhere else in the country."
Other hospital systems across the US have followed Houston's lead and made vaccinations compulsory for workers, a move that has been replicated in England with care home workers being told that they must get vaccinated to continue working in their jobs.
The president and chief executive of Houston Methodist, Marc Boom, said that nearly 25,000 of the system's more than 26,000 workers have complied with the rule saying they must get vaccinated.
In a note to employees he said: "You did the right thing. You protected our patients, your colleagues, your families and our community.
"The science proves that the vaccines are not only safe but necessary if we are going to turn the corner against COVID-19."
Honestly, just get the vaccine. Or alternatively, do us all a favour and get in the sea.