Hospital workers prepare to be fired for not getting COVID-19 vaccine
HOUSTON - Some staff members at Houston Methodist Hospital say they're getting ready for their last day of work.
A mandatory COVID-19 vaccine mandate begins Monday. Employees have been told if they don’t get a COVID-19 shot by then, they’ll be fired.
"Right off the bat, I pretty much decided I was not going to do it," said Jennifer Bridges. "Everybody in America should have the right to decide what they put in their body and what they don’t."
Bridges has worked at Houston Methodist for more than six years as a registered nurse. According to Bridges, she spent the last year treating COVID-19 patients and even got sick with the Coronavirus. Bridges says she still has COVID-19 antibodies and shouldn’t need a vaccine.
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"I just had an antibody test a week ago, but it doesn’t count for them," said Bridges. "It doesn’t work."
While some are against the new policy, most of the workers at Houston Methodist have been vaccinated for COVID-19.
"It’s the right thing to do," said one staff member in December. "It’s for the greater good of our community."
"The infection is much more worrisome than any potential side effects from the vaccines," said Dr. Ashley Drews.
So far, 117 Houston Methodist staff members have filed a lawsuit against the hospital’s mandatory vaccine policy. According to the lawsuit, "Houston Methodist is forcing its employees to be human guinea pigs."
RELATED: More than 100 employees suing Houston Methodist for requiring them to get COVID-19 vaccine
"It’s been less than a year since it was out," said Bridges. "Nobody knows in 2, 3, or 4 years what it could possibly do to you."
Bridges is prepared for her last day of work Monday. However, she’s hopeful the mandatory vaccine policy will be overturned by a federal judge later this week. If not, Bridges says the lawsuit could advance to the Supreme Court.
"I could take the vaccine, but what if I get a blood clot and I die," said Bridges. "Some people are dead within two days [from the vaccine]. That risk is not worth this job."
Houston Methodist staff members were not available Sunday for comment. Dr. Marc Boom, President & CEO of Houston Methodist previously issued the following statement to FOX 26 Houston.
"It is unfortunate that the few remaining employees who refuse to get vaccinated and put our patients first are responding in this way. 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. More than 165 million people in the U.S. alone have received vaccines against COVID-19, and this has resulted in the lowest numbers of infections in our country and in the Houston region in more than a year."