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Texas hospital system says 153 workers quit or were fired after refusing COVID-19 vaccine


A Methodist hospital in Houston. Brandon Bell / Getty Images

On April 1, the Houston Methodist Hospital System told its employees that they needed to be vaccinated against COVID-19. More than two months later, 24,947 workers have been fully vaccinated and 153 have either resigned or fired for failing to comply with the mandate.

In early June, 178 employees were suspended for non-vaccination and were given two weeks to rectify the situation. Houston Methodist spokesperson Gale Smith said The Washington Post Tuesday that 25 of those employees have since been vaccinated. “Patients are always first, and that’s what it always has been,” Smith said.

Jennifer Bridges, a former Houston Methodist nurse, continued the tenure, saying it was forcing employees to be “guinea pigs” for COVID-19 vaccines. U.S. District Judge Lynn Hughes dismissed the lawsuit earlier this month, writing that “It’s not coercion. Methodists are trying to save lives without giving them the COVID-19 virus. C ‘is a choice made to keep staff, patients, and their families safer. ” Bridges, who said she had since been hired by a private nursing company, appealed.

Houston Methodist CEO Marc Boom praised the decision and the hospital system workers who “made their decisions for our patients, who are always at the center of everything we do.”

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