A nurse in East Texas claims she was terminated after she declined to take a Covid-19 jab.
Fired Houston Methodist nurse Michelle Fuentes says she wanted more research done on the vaccine before receiving it after coming under “constant pressure” by the hospital to take the jab.
“I knew that the date was looming over my head of me to get the vaccine and we were constantly being pressured and pressured,” Fuentes told FOX 26.
The hospital last month said it would require employees to be vaccinated by June 7. Employees who planned to refuse the jab were instructed to submit reasons for an exemption by May 3.
“I just needed a little bit more time and little bit more research to be done,” Fuentes explained, adding that she would like to see a completion of clinical trials prior to getting injected.
Fuentes claims a supervisor at the hospital encouraged her to file for a religious exemption rather than a personal exemption in order to “save her job.”
“And I said, ‘Well, I don’t have a religious exemption. I’m not doing this for religious reasons,’ and she said, ‘I know, but we’ll help you fill it out, and at least this will save your job,’” she said. “So, because I don’t have a religious reason and it’s a personal reason, my beliefs and my feelings aren’t as worthy as someone who has a religious reason?”
The Houston-area nurse, who worked in the hospital’s Covid unit and regularly receives her yearly flu shot, says rather than be forced to take the shot, she filed a two-week notice to leave the company.
However, since she made it known she would not agree to stay silent about her situation, she was subsequently escorted out of the hospital without being able to complete her final two weeks.
The nurse claims she was ready to wear a mask while at work and argue for her personal exemption with paperwork showing she had the Covid antibodies after overcoming the illness.
Houston Methodist meanwhile released a statement claiming they don’t encourage employees who have personal objections to vaccines to file for medical exemptions.
“We have a process in place for the employees who want to request a religious/medical exemption— like we have had for the flu shot for more than a decade. Not all exemptions are granted.”
“Our employees have the choice to stay or leave—we are not forcing anyone to get a vaccine. But over everything, we must put patients first. It is our obligation as health care workers to do no harm to our patients, who are among the most vulnerable in our community.”
The incident comes as Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) last month vowed state agencies would not enforce “vaccine passports” or require people to present proof of vaccination.
“Texans are returning to normal life as more people get the safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine. But as I’ve said all along, these vaccines are always voluntary and never forced,” Abbott stated.
“Government should not require any Texan to show proof of vaccination and reveal health information just to go about their daily lives. That is why I have issued an executive order that prohibits government-mandated vaccine passports in Texas. We will continue to vaccinate more Texans and protect public health — and we will do so without treading on Texans’ personal freedoms.”
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