They’ve seen people unable to breathe. They’ve seen people intubated. They’ve seen people diverted onto heart-lung machines. But despite COVID-19 ravaging their communities, especially the unvaccinated who remain frighteningly vulnerable to the highly transmissible Delta variant, some healthcare workers have refused their workplace mandates: Get vaccinated or get terminated. It’s happening in the Shenandoah Valley. It’s happening in New Jersey. It’s happening in Texas. Some healthcare workers, primarily nurses, are opting to get fired rather than vaxxed.
Jesus Rodham Christ, do these front line nurses believe that RFK Jr., Sherri Tenpenny, and Dr. Mercola can tell us what the real crime is? That Dr. Karen Google trumps all other sources of information — like nursing school and peer-reviewed journals? The New York Times reports that doctors, who have passed board exams and attended school somewhere other than Dr. Nick’s Hollywood Upstairs Medical College, have a 96% vaccination rate. However, other healthcare workers overall were estimated to have only a 75% vaccination rate at the end of May.
More recent data from the Oregon Health Authority shows that only 57% of certified nursing assistants are vaccinated; 60% of licensed professional nurses have been jabbed; and only 56% of advanced emergency medical technicians have been vaxxed. Don’t go to a fucking chiropractor in Oregon —only 50% of them are vaccinated. The numbers get scarier: for healthcare workers in Oregon’s four most rural counties, vaccination rates fall under 50%. The lowest? Harney County, at 43%.
Oregon: a state liberal enough to pass legislation legalizing psilocybin for medical purposes. They have weed dispensaries next door to Target. Extrapolate their low numbers to places like the American South: as of April, hospitals in North Carolina willing to divulge vaccination data reported rates from 40-75%. That low end also occurred, like Oregon’s, in the most rural and vaccine-resistant counties.
National data revealed that 16% of healthcare workers reported they’d rather be fired than vaccinated. Apparently they also hang with Dr. Karen Google and Associates, who include Sherri Tenpenny, Joseph Mercola, and RFK, Jr.
As they say in The Big Lebowski: We’re fucked, Walter.
Healthcare Workers Speak Out
In Winchester, Virginia, the heart of the Shenandoah Valley, Valley Health, owner of Winchester Hospital, has issued a vaccine mandate for healthcare workers. The Washington Post reports that over 100 people ditched work to wave signs protesting that decision. They’d decided the vaccine was riskier than actual COVID-19, which so far has killed more than 620,000 Americans.
Some nurses pointed to very rare side effects, like myocarditis tied to mRNA vaccines Moderna and Pfizer, or Johnson & Johnson’s blood clot risk. Others went off the rails about (non-existent) fertility issues. The New York Times reports that UF Health Jacksonville, which does not have a vaccine mandate, said their 25% of unvaccinated workers had reasons ranging from a desire for more data to the good ol’ Bill Gates microchip-and-magnetism stories. “Our health care workers are a reflection of the general population,” said Chad Nielson, director of infection prevention.
Some workers in Winchester claimed the vaccines hadn’t been out long enough to know if they’re safe. Brittany Watson, a behavioral health nurse who founded “Valley Health Workers Association” to protest the vaccine mandate, claims that she and her colleagues aren’t anti-vax: “We’ve done all the vaccines that you get when you grow up — but those have been around for decades. But this one, there’s so much propaganda around it. It doesn’t make any sense.”
Yes, Brittany, the Biden administration, in a desperate attempt to save our citizens from themselves, has pushed the COVID-19 vaccine hard. They’ve had to, because ‘Muricans refuse to get a jab that could prevent their death. You know, because freedom. And microchips and magnetism and Big Pharma.
File this under scary stories to tell in the dark: these unvaccinated healthcare workers are still treating the sickest American patients, including those ill with the highly transmissible Delta variant. Some American hospital and healthcare systems aren’t here for that nonsense. RWJBarnabas Health, New Jersey’s largest single private employer, confirmed to CBS that they’ve fired six supervisors over their refusal to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.
Houston Methodist Hospital system requires COVID-19 vaccination for all its employees. They had to fire 153 employees. When those employees tried to take the vaccine mandate to court, U.S. District Judge Lynn Hughes tanked it. He said that contrary to what the plaintiff claimed, saying the vaccines were “dangerous and experimental” was untrue, and that likening a vaccine mandate to forced medical experiments during the Holocaust was “reprehensible.”
Who the fuck throws that kind of anti-Semitism into an actual, filing-this-before-the-bench lawsuit?
With most of Connecticut hospitals now requiring mandatory COVID-19 vaccinations for all staff, the state stands to lose a full 20% of all its healthcare workers if they are not vaccinated by September 30th. Twenty percent, with hospitalizations are hitting numbers we haven’t seen since January. When one driver in Winchester shouted that he hoped protesters were fired, one nurse shot back: “We’re going to! You’ll need us next week!”
She’s not wrong. Dr. Anuj Vohra, medical director of Emergency Services at Charlotte Hungerford Hospital in Connecticut said, “Can I imagine working as an ER physician with 20% less of my staff? No way …” But 131 hospital systems have mandated COVID-19 vaccines for workers, and they aren’t budging.
However, some systems haven’t made the move: Ballad Health CEO Alan Levine said that forcing shots on his company’s unvaccinated workers — all thirty-fucking-eight percent of them — would exacerbate an already dire nursing shortage. Others, in order to alleviate fears, have said the vaccine will be mandatory once it reaches full FDA approval (all COVID-19 vaxes are only approved for emergency use).
Damned if we do, damned if we don’t.
Many these people have forgotten about the thousands of healthcare workers who’ve contracted COVID-19 from their patients and died. But Dr. Michele Moniz, who studied vaccine hesitancy among healthcare workers, told Modern Healthcare that, “When a healthcare worker declines a COVID-19 vaccine, it affects the herd immunity of the healthcare workforce and potentially the safety of patients and communities that workforce serves.”
But Elisabet Michaelsen, a retired speech pathologist and home health-care worker who participated in a counter-protest against the Winchester nurses, told The Washington Post that, “To me [the vaccine] is a no-brainer, and I don’t understand how you can talk about concepts like medical freedom and so on — what kind of freedom? Freedom to infect the patient you’re treating? I don’t think so.”
Freedom, Elisabet. ‘Murican freedom, which means whatever you want it to mean, including throwing out all civic responsibility in the middle of the deadliest pandemic the country has ever seen.
Currently only 66% of Americans are in favor of mandatory healthcare vaccinations. However, Dr. David J. Skorton, the chief executive of the Association of American Medical Colleges, said in a statement that, “Health care personnel — who have been heroic during this pandemic — are caring for patients with a wide variety of health challenges under the assumption that the health care professionals treating them are not at risk of acquiring or transmitting Covid-19.”
So when you roll on up to the ER, it’s not only your fellow patients that should terrify you.
It’s also your unvaccinated healthcare workers.