A Texas hospital is facing a lawsuit by 117 unvaccinated employees over its recently announced COVID-19 vaccine mandate, according to reports.
Houston Methodist Hospital, which manages eight hospitals, gave employees a June 7 deadline to receive the vaccine or risk suspension and termination, the lawsuit claims.
"Methodist Hospital is forcing its employees to be human ‘guinea pigs’ as a condition for continued employment," the complaint states, according to the Washington Post.
The lawsuit cited the U.S. Food and Drug Administration authorization, which is for emergency use and is not yet fully FDA approved and licensed.
The complaint also cites the Nuremberg Code, which bans forced medical experimentations, again in effect arguing that the vaccine is experimental and potentially unsafe.
Attorney Jared Woodfill, who filed the lawsuit, claims the hospital is trying to vaccinate employees in a bid to boost profitability.
"To promote its business and increase profits at the expense of other health care providers and their employees' health, defendants advertise to the public that they 'require all employees and employed physicians to get a COVID-19 vaccine’," Woodfill told ABC News.
However, medical experts have pushed back against labeling the vaccine as "experimental."
"This claim is absurd indeed," Akiko Iwasaki, an immunologist at Yale University, told the Post in an email. "There were tens of thousands of people who were in the Phase 3 clinical trials for the mRNA vaccines, and no safety concerns were found."
Methodist CEO Marc Boom has said that 99 percent of the network’s 26,000 employees have met the requirements for the vaccine rule, and that health care workers have a "sacred obligation."
"It is unfortunate that the few remaining employees who refuse to get vaccinated and put our patients first are responding in this way," Boom said. "It is legal for health care institutions to mandate vaccines, as we have done with the flu vaccine since 2009. The COVID-19 vaccines have proven through rigorous trials to be very safe and very effective and are not experimental."
Woodfill noted that most of the plaintiffs are not health care providers. While some are nurses, none are doctors, the Houston Chronicle reported.
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