More than 100 employees at a Texas
hospital have filed a lawsuit
against their employer's COVID-19 vaccine
requirement, claiming that it forces them to become "human guinea pigs" as a condition of continued employment.
In a lawsuit filed Friday, 117 employees at Houston Methodist Hospital
claim that the hospital's vaccine mandate forces them to "submit themselves to medical experimentation as a prerequisite to feeding their families."
The suit, which incorrectly refers to the vaccine as a "gene modification medical experiment," targets the vaccine's emergency use status by the U.S. Food
and Drug Administration, arguing that this rushed authorization may carry unknown risks. The suit also claims that the mandate violates the Nuremberg Code of 1947, which was enacted to prevent human experimentation with vaccines
In a statement, the hospital's president and CEO
, Marc Boom, dismissed the suit's legitimacy, claiming that coronavirus
vaccines used in the United States
have been proven to be safe and that health care
institutions are legally allowed to mandate vaccinations
, and that 99% of the hospital's 26,000 employees have met the vaccination requirement.
“As health care workers, it is our sacred obligation to do whatever we can to protect our patients, who are the most vulnerable in our community,” he said in a statement obtained by Stardia on Sunday. “The COVID-19 vaccines have proven to be very safe and very effective and are not experimental,” he added.
Vaccines with emergency use authorization have completed clinical trials that demonstrate the vaccine's safety and efficacy, and they are not considered experimental because of this clinical research
In an email to The Washington Post
, Yale University immunologist Akiko Iwasaki called the lawsuit's characterization of the vaccine as "experimental" "absurd."
“There were tens of thousands of people
in the Phase 3 clinical trials for the mRNA vaccines, and no safety concerns were discovered,” she said, adding that “since the emergency use authorization of these vaccines, there have been hundreds of millions of people vaccinated with the mRNA vaccines with excellent safety record.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
, nearly 294 million coronavirus vaccine doses had been administered in the United States as of Saturday, with slightly more than half of the population receiving at least one dose.
On Friday, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
(EEOC), a federal agency established to administer and enforce workplace
discrimination laws, issued updated guidance that defends employers' legal right to require COVID-19 vaccines among employees in a physical
Those who do not get vaccinated due to a disability
or a religious belief, practice, or observation may be entitled to an exception to a workplace vaccine requirement in exchange for wearing a mask, social distancing, changing schedules, or reassignment, according to the EEOC website.