BAYTOWN, Texas – A nurse of more than six years at Houston Methodist Baytown, who doesn’t want to be identified, said she is not okay with the hospital’s policy of requiring all employees to be vaccinated for COVID-19.
“A lot of people are nervous. They feel it’s too soon to make it mandatory. It should be a choice. We’re just not comfortable. If we’re not comfortable with this, don’t force us into doing it,” said the nurse.
In fact, the nurse created a petition that has about 100 signatures of support against the new policy that could mean termination if employees aren’t in compliance by June 7, unless they have an exemption for religious or medical reasons.
”We don’t want to be threatened and bullied into this right now. We want more research. We want more time. We want it to be FDA approved.”
“This is about protecting our patients, and we have a sacred obligation to protect our patients,” said Marc Boom M. D., the President and CEO of Houston Methodist.
Boom said of their nearly 26,000 employees, roughly 84% have been vaccinated. He added at the end of the day, the policy is all about keeping people safe.
”COVID is a very dangerous illness for our employees, for their colleagues, and particularly for our patients and we owe this to our patients to protect them,” said Boom.
“The EEOC is fine with requiring it because it’s in the best interest of the community,” said attorney Sophia George.
But can a company require you to be vaccinated specifically if the vaccines have only been given emergency use authorization by the FDA?
George said legally speaking, they can.
”Just because it’s not already FDA approved does not mean that it’s outside of the scope of the employer to mandate that,” said George.