While 24,947 of Houston Methodist’s employees were fully vaccinated against the novel coronavirus by Monday’s deadline, 178 employees did not get fully vaccinated and were suspended without pay for two weeks, Houston Methodist CEO Marc Boom wrote in an internal message that the system shared with The Washington Post.
“Of these employees, 27 have received one dose of vaccine, so I am hopeful they will get their second doses soon,” Boom wrote. “I know that today may be difficult for some who are sad about losing a colleague who’s decided to not get vaccinated,” he added. “We only wish them well and thank them for their past service to our community, and we must respect the decision they made.”
617 employees were given deferrals for medical, religious, pregnancy or other reasons.
The CEO in March called on Houston Methodist staffers to get vaccinated against the novel coronavirus, saying the health system needed to set an example and protect patients. The policy drew attacks from conservative media and prompted legal threats, including a lawsuit from more than 100 of the system’s staffers, led by a nurse who worked in the coronavirus unit and insisted that vaccines needed further study.
Houston Methodist is being sued. The lawsuit says that the vaccine requirements violates the Nuremberg Code and forces the employees to be used as guinea pigs.