(NewsNation Now) — A group of health care workers in Houston is now at risk of losing their jobs because they don’t want to get the COVID-19 vaccine.
Dozens of staff members staged a walkout to protest a Texas hospital’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate.
Monday night, vaccine hesitancy was personified in protest as droves of people showed up to Houston Methodist to voice their outrage over the policy.
Houston Methodist says nearly 100% of their 26,000 employees have been vaccinated, calling it a “sacred obligation to protect our patients.”
Michelle Fuentes was a nurse at Houston Methodist who has joined the lawsuit after losing her job for refusing to stop speaking about her concerns over the vaccine.
“I was brought into my manager’s office to discuss ways that I could get around keeping my job and not getting the vaccine. I was asked to sign a religious waiver, I refused to sign the religious waiver. So they asked me, Did I think that I could go back into the work area and not discuss my views on the vaccine and which I said that I didn’t feel like my voice should be silenced. And at that point, my things were gathered, and I was escorted out,” said Fuentes.
She also told NewsNation she refused to get the vaccine. When asked what her concerns were about getting the shot, she said she already had COVID-19 and the antibodies from it.
“I had the COVID virus, and so my antibodies are still up. So it wasn’t about protecting my patients as much as meeting an agenda, I could show that I was still a safe and effective nurse. And I didn’t pose any threat. Nor did I when I worked the COVID unit. I was a safe nurse then, did I feel like I could still be a safe nurse now, and not put my community nor my patients in any type of Jeopardy or harm,” said Fuentes.
Fuentes also claimed that rare potential side effects or adverse reactions worried her. The CDC has not tracked major side effects among most recipients of the COVID-19 vaccine.
She strongly believes her cousin’s serious medical ailments are related to the vaccine.
“I know firsthand, because even my cousin’s reaction, everybody’s skeptical and scared to report because it’s going against society’s norm or what the agenda they’re trying to push. So a lot of these reactions that are actually occurring, aren’t actually being reported,” said Fuentes.
Vaccine hesitancy has been high among healthcare workers. Nearly half remained unvaccinated as of mid-March, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. Common concerns being the vaccine’s emergency approval and potential side effects.