Texas hospital just lost 153 employees who refuse to get a Covid-19 shot

Originally published at: Texas hospital just lost 153 employees who refuse to get a Covid-19 shot | Boing Boing

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Good riddance. As I commented on the earlier story:

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“Lost” is not the right word to describe this. “Let go for negligent behavior that put folks’ health in danger” is the right way to say it. They didn’t lose anything really seeing how they’ll hire 153 vaccinated people to replace them.

The hospital should publish a list of who was let go so that other health providers can easily avoid these folks.

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The hospital lost the employees to selfishness and stupidity. The employees lost their jobs.

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Out of curiosity; does anyone know if vaccine status has ever come up in the context of a medical malpractice suit(or, probably more likely to affect behavior on a large scale, as either a requirement or something that causes a nontrivial change in premiums for malpractice insurance)?

I’d assume (hopefully correctly, I hope?) that more or less egregious lapses in sanitation(handwashing; re-use of non-reusable equipment, failure to change gloves, sloppiness in the procedures that ensure that reusable equipment is autoclaved or otherwise sterilized to spec before it ends up back in the OR) are widely recognized as easy malpractice fodder; and it would seem(following the reasoning-by-analogy that seems to be popular in legal contexts when trying to adapt existing law to a new case) that knowingly running a higher risk of harboring a potentially lethal pathogen when there’s a simple and effective way to not do that is a similarly reckless breach of hygiene.

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According to Wikipedia, Houston Methodist had 7,420 total employees as of 2018. Firing 2% of their work force to protect the other 98% (and all their patients) doesn’t seem that crazy.

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All the stories about this lawsuit fail to mention the workers at the hospital that were granted religious exemptions to being vaccinated.

So the hospital’s policy is:
You’re a fucking moron that demands the right to endanger patients? Get the fuck out!
You’re a fucking moron that demands the right to endanger patients for religious reasons? By all means, proceed!

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The OP says “Houston Methodist Hospital”, but it is really 153 employees of “Houston Methodist” which includes the excellent hospital described in your wiki link and about 6 satelite hospitals around the Houston area. The whole system has over 10,000 employees (so ~1% fired), and the protest pictures I’ve seen are from the Baytown hospital.

None of the protests, and likely few of the fired employees, are from the main hospital. Like everything else in this partisan country, its a culture war between more right-wing burbs and the damn liberals in the city

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where did you read that? is it in the lawsuit itself?

( i will admit, i do not understand religious exemptions for public sector jobs. accomodations that don’t pertain to the job itself - like you shouldn’t be able to ban praying or wearing headscarves or crosses or whatever - are well and good. but actual exemptions for core job functions makes no sense to me )

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Several years ago when my wife got a Mastectomy, she was in a recovery unit at the hospital.
First thing I asked the Nurse when he came in was, “Did you get a Flu shot yet?”
He replied that he did not and then went into a rambling excuse about how he did not want that mercury (preservative in the vaccine) in his system and so he opted out due to moral reasons.

I asked him to leave the room and follow me. I went to the Nurse’s station and asked for the Charge Nurse.
Once introduced I told her I wanted a Nurse that had the Flu Shot to see my wife and this other “Nurse” was not to go anywhere near her. I also stated that any Techs that had not had a Flu Shot were also not allowed into her room. I let them work it out.

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I dunno. While I did not hesitate to get vaccinated as soon as I could be, I am still uneasy about forcing vaccinations on employees as a condition of employment until the vaccines pass FDA muster. I work at a large private university and while I absolutely abhor siding with anti-vaxxers, I can’t dismiss some staff and students’ concerns that Pfizer and J&J shots still aren’t FDA-approved. I’m really conflicted! But once the FDA approves, I’ll be back to my “get your damn shots and STFU” mantra.

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Working in a hospital dealing with a deadly disease pandemic without a vaccine before the vaccine is developed seems like a noble potential sacrifice.

Working in a hospital dealing with a deadly disease pandemic without a vaccine when the vaccine is freely available to everyone who wants one seems like it’s suicidality idiotic…

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Before [some point in time], there were the usual, small percentage of anti-vaxxers, but I don’t recall hearing stories of huge blocks of people who were protesting vaccinations? Not even for religious reasons. I don’t remember a story in '94 or '82 or '76 about people needing ‘religious exemptions’ from getting a vaccine? I was raised Catholic (no long practicing) and I remember getting lots of shots when I was a kid for various things.

Is this all really ultimately a political thing? “Them der people o’r der dat want be frens and treat peepols same mak me sad White and Jeebus cry so kno shoots!1OneElevenOneHundredAndEleven!”

Or is it the making fun of them thing? :thinking:

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Yeah, I sense a real “bad cop merry-go-round” system evolving from this.

“Did you get fired from a hospital that prioritizes patient health and credible research over your “feelings”? Come to the Texas Liberty Clinic where your perverse miscomprehension of freedom, intuition and comfort are our top priority!”

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Which is bullshit because it barely exists in vaccines anymore and only in multi-dose vials.

https://www.cdc.gov/vaccinesafety/concerns/thimerosal/index.html

I hope your wife got the care she needed and has recovered well!

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I love the idea that a nation that largely supports at-will employment, where someone can get fired for any reason or none at any time, bravely supports the right of employees to spread disease to coddle their deeply held superstitions.

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The religious exemption has been mentioned in previous articles about it but not all of them.

Edit: mentioned in story below but it took me 3 articles before I found it mentioned.

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The vaccines have Emergency Use Authorization; this doesn’t mean they are just random shit in a vial injected into an unsuspecting public. Instead, they’ve undergone sufficient trials that show they are both safe and of acceptable effectiveness. They are still going through trials (moderna is in phase 3 trials, the last phase Clinical Trial Data | Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine (EUA) (modernatx.com)), but so far they are working as expected.

We know how to make vaccines. We’ve literally been doing it for centuries (thanks, cowpox!), and been making modern vaccines for almost 100 years. Absent some really ground shaking negative result in phase 3, approval will be granted on the vaccines. Requiring employees to be vaccinated, and getting vaccinated against a rapidly mutating, increasingly transmissible (thanks, delta variant), and deadly disease is a small price to pay to keep our vulnerable populations safe and to get society back “normal”, even if the vaccine only has EUA.

If I seem cavalier about mandating vaccines, its because I’ve spent most of my adult life in countries where people, mostly children and the elderly, die in alarming numbers from easily preventable diseases, and were entry depends on showing your yellow WHO card proving you have required vaccinations (yellow fever, Hep A, B, & C, TB, Dengue, etc.). The US (and developed world) has been safe from deadly diseases for so long, we’ve gotten soft on how to combat them. Mandatory vaccinations are a human rights issue. Not a violation of rights issue, but a right to live in a society free from preventable diseases.

I don’t mean this as a personal attack, but the “vaccine isn’t approved” argument is a misunderstanding, willful or otherwise, of how the vaccine approval process works, and is often part of a bad-faith argument against vaccination. Once the vaccines are approved, there will other, seemingly scientifically legitimate reasons given to not vaccinate (@mr_raccoon gave an example of “mercury”). If this were an Ebola pandemic, I guarantee no one would be objecting to an unapproved but EUA vaccine.

I’ll get off my high horse now.

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Religion now has most favored nation status, If exemptiions are made for anybody, exemptions must be made for people who believe in strange gods and voices in their heads.

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More accurate headline:

“Texas hospital removed 153 employees who were a medical risk, and will be replacing them with new employees that better understand science and believe in creating safe environments for patients”

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