HOUSTON - Several dozen protesters gathered Saturday outside Houston Methodist Hospital to voice their opposition to the hospital’s mandatory COVID-19 vaccine policy.
"I’m running out of options for my career because of a mandatory vaccine that could affect my fertility," said Keri R, a registered nurse previously at Houston Methodist.
More than 150 Houston Methodist workers officially lost their jobs Tuesday for refusing to get the required vaccine.
"They’re not giving proper informed consent," said Jennifer Bridges. "They’re turning people into guinea pigs without them knowing the difference."
Bridges worked at Houston Methodist for roughly 7 years before getting fired for refusing the mandatory vaccine. The registered nurse says she has COVID-19 antibodies from having already had the virus and doesn’t want the vaccine because it’s not FDA approved.
"I have personally witnessed horrible adverse reactions to hundreds and hundreds of people," said Bridges. "It scares me because the public doesn’t know the truth."
So far, 117 former Houston Methodist employees have filed a lawsuit against the hospital’s mandatory vaccine policy. However, the lawsuit was recently rejected by a federal judge.
Houston Methodist President and CEO Dr. Marc Boom tells FOX 26 nearly 25,000 of their staff members have been vaccinated for COVID-19. Dr. Boom and the CDC believe the vaccine is safe.
"We can now put this behind us and continue our focus on unparalleled safety, quality, service and innovation," said Dr. Boom. "All our employees have now met the requirements of the vaccine policy and I couldn’t be prouder of them. Our employees and physicians made their decisions for our patients, who are always at the center of everything we do. They have fulfilled their sacred obligation as health care workers, and we couldn’t ask for a more dedicated, caring and talented team."
On Saturday protesters briefly clashed with counter protesters who were wearing anti-fascism shirts. Overall, the event remained peaceful.
"If I walk into Methodist as patient unvaccinated, I’m treated with respect," said Keri. "But, if I walk in as a nurse without a vaccine, they treat me as uneducated and as a fascist as some of these people say on their signs."
Bridges says they plan to continue fighting the hospital’s mandatory vaccine policy. The registered nurse believes the lawsuit will eventually advance to the United States Supreme Court.