153 employees who refused COVID-19 vaccine have resigned or been fired, Houston hospital says

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Tuesday, June 22, 2021
153 Houston Methodist workers out of job after vaccine protest
The dozens upon dozens of workers in this Houston hospital system are out of the job now. Here's what happened.

HOUSTON, Texas -- A total of 153 workers at Houston Methodist Hospital have either resigned or have been fired after refusing to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

Earlier this month, the hospital reported 178 employees had been suspended for not complying with the hospital's vaccine requirement for workers. It appears most of those employees chose to leave the hospital system or not get fully vaccinated.

In a statement issued by Houston Methodist on June 9, a total of 24,947 employees complied and are fully vaccinated.

On May 28, a group of 117 Houston Methodist employees sued the hospital system for requiring the vaccine as a condition of employment. The medical giant gave workers a deadline of receiving the vaccine by June 7.

The lawsuit asked a federal court to prevent the hospital group from taking action against the employees. However, a federal judge dismissed the lawsuit, calling it frivolous.

"We can now put this behind us and continue our focus on unparalleled safety, quality, service and innovation," hospital president and CEO Marc Boom said in a statement at the time of the dismissal. "All our employees have now met the requirements of the vaccine policy and I couldn't be prouder of them."

Jennifer Bridges, who once worked for Houston Methodist, told ABC's sister station KTRK that she does not want to take the COVID-19 vaccine because it does not have full approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

The vaccine is currently being used in the U.S. under emergency use authorization from the FDA. Pfizer began its full application for full approval last month.

Monday was the deadline for employees to get the COVID vaccine or face losing their jobs, which led to a lawsuit involving more than 100 nurses.