First Hospital In Nation To Require COVID-19 Vaccines Will End Mandate

Authored by Matthew Lysiak via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours),

A woman receives a Moderna COVID-19 vaccine in a file photograph. (Johanna Geron/Reuters)

Houston Methodist, which made national headlines after becoming the first hospital in the United States to mandate the COVID-19 vaccines, will no longer require its employees to receive the controversial shots after a new law passed by the Texas legislature outlawed the practice of denying vaccine choice to workers in the private sector.

The hospital announced the change in policy in an internal email to employees, reviewed by The Epoch Times, that employees who choose not to receive the COVID-19 vaccine will no longer be prohibited from working at the institution, effective Dec. 1.

“The Texas Legislature passed a law in the special session that prohibits private employers from requiring employees and contractors to get a COVID-19 vaccination as a condition of employment,” the statement read. “We will continue to encourage everyone to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, but it will no longer be mandated at Houston Methodist. This means that getting the vaccine, or being approved for an exemption, will no longer be a condition of employment.”

The statement added that the hospital “has always put the safety of our patients and employees first.”

Dr. Mary Talley Bowden, a practitioner in Texas and founder of Coalition of Health Freedom, told The Epoch Times that the hospital’s decision to play the role of trailblazer in becoming the first to mandate the COVID-19 vaccine was not only poorly conceived, but unleashed a series of negative ripple effects in terms of medical freedom that would quickly spread to other institutions throughout the nation.

Houston Methodist and their CEO Dr. Marc Boom coerced nearly 30,000 employees to get an experimental modified mRNA shot with no long-term safety data,” said Dr. Bowden. “Their mandate policy was the first in the country and paved the way for the government and other businesses to impose a highly unethical employment policy on millions of Americans.”

On June 8, 2021, Houston Methodist became the nation’s first hospital system to require its private health care providers to get the shot. In a letter informing hospital staff of the policy, Houston Methodist Chief Physician Executive Dr. Rob Phillips justified the decision by claiming that forcing employees to take the vaccine was their moral obligation, writing,“It is our duty as health care professionals to do no harm and protect the safety of all of us — our colleagues, our patients and our society.”

The hospital hadn’t returned a call for comment from The Epoch Times by the time of publication.

Controversy on Vaccines

The past two years have seen the COVID-19 vaccines become mired in controversy. The original COVID-19 vaccines were taken by more than 80 percent of Americans after officials pledged that the shots would be effective in both preventing contraction and stopping the spread of the virus. However, once it was revealed that the shots didn’t work as promised, interest in the subsequent booster shots decreased dramatically.

Vaccines could also be attributed to widespread reports of negative health outcomes believed to have been caused by the shots. COVID-19 vaccines have been named the primary suspect in over 1.5 million adverse event reports, according to the FDA Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) database. The numbers could be even higher. An FDA-funded study out of Harvard (pdf) found that VAERS cases represent fewer than 1 percent of vaccine adverse events that actually occur.

In August, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) V-safe website quietly stopped collecting adverse event reports with no reason or explanation. As of Wednesday morning, the V-safe website states: “Thank you for your participation. Data collection for COVID-19 vaccines concluded on June 30, 2023.”

Consequently, in the past two years confidence in health officials has dropped 10 points from 44 percent to 34 percent, according to a Gallup tracking poll.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that nearly all Americans receive an updated COVID-19 vaccine. About 5 percent of Americans have received one of the new shots, according to the most recent available data.

The Texas law prohibiting private businesses from imposing COVID-19 vaccine mandates was passed by the state legislature before being signed into law by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott on Nov. 10. The state House had approved the bill in a 91–54 vote, while the state Senate passed it 17–11.

Mr. Abbott, a Republican, said as he signed the bill in Austin that it was necessary to protect the right of Texans “to make their own decisions about what health care they want to access and what health care they want to reject.”

The legislation stated that an “employer may not adopt or enforce a mandate requiring an employee, contractor, applicant for employment, or applicant for a contract position to be vaccinated against COVID-19 as a condition of employment or a contract position.”

Texas State Rep. Brian Harrison, who first introduced the legislation in 2021, voiced regret that the bill took so long to become law, posting on X, “This is great.  But… imagine how many careers would’ve been saved if the Texas COVID Vaccine Freedom Act had passed when I first introduced it… OVER TWO YEARS AGO.”

Dr. Bowden says that while it is a positive step that choice has once again been restored to hospital employees, the administration’s decision to force its employees to choose between a shot they may not believe is safe and their ability to earn a living should have consequences.

“The ramifications are immense and though I am happy they (the vaccine mandates) have been stopped, we still need to hold them accountable,” said Dr. Bowden.


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