HOUSTON - Several employees with Houston Methodist Hospital have filed a lawsuit against the hospital for requiring employees to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
According to a lawsuit provided by the attorney, who is representing a total of 117 plaintiffs, they say their employer has forced them to participate in what is being described as "an experimental vaccine trial as a condition for continued employment."
The first page of the lawsuit includes a statement from Houston Methodist San Jacinto Hospital CEO, David Bernard saying:
"100% vaccination is more important than your individual freedom. Everyone [sic] of you is replaceable. If you don’t like what your [sic] doing you can leave and we will replace your spot."
The lawsuit goes on to say how the employees involved in the lawsuit feel they are treated as "guinea pigs" by referencing how the vaccine has not been around for very long.
This comes hours after Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo lowered the county's COVID-19 threat level to moderate-level danger citing vaccines have played an important role.
"This is an important and encouraging, but still fragile, milestone in our fight against COVID-19," said Judge Hidalgo on Friday. "Our community is doing what it needs to do to move the needle in the right direction, but the threat of stalling or moving backwards remains very real. As we move into Memorial Day weekend, I urge anyone who is not yet vaccinated to take action to protect themselves against this still deadly virus and to avoid gatherings with other unvaccinated individuals. Just as importantly, if you have gotten vaccinated, remind your friends and family to get the vaccine."
Dr. Marc Boom, President & CEO of Houston Methodist 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."