If healthcare workers were not there by our side during this pandemic, a lot of our brethren would have not been able to fight the severity of the disease and returned back healthy to their families. To keep these healthcare workers safe and in good spirits, every governing body has done its best to provide them with adequate health cover. The vaccines, when released in the market, were first given to healthcare workers to ensure they never contracted the disease. But in a recent development a strange connection has come up wth the vaccination drive and health workers in a Texas hospital.
Is Vaccination Voluntary?- Texas Hospital Workers On Strike
Around 117 healthcare workers have filed a lawsuit against their employer, which is a renowned Texas Hospital, stating that the mandate announced by their employer stating vaccination is compulsory for all of them to continue working is greatly embarrassing and unjustified. The employees belong to Houston Methodist Hospital and have clearly stated that the compulsory immunization drive actually violated the infamous Nuremberg Code.
This code is a set of standard procedures set up after World War 2 where it is not allowed to experiment on human subjects without their agreement or consent. Their lawsuit states that the hospital wants them to either get vaccinated or lose their jobs. This directly violated the state law. They have put in a request to bar Houston Medical from taking away their jobs owing to them deciding to stay unvaccinated.
The Beginning Of The Story
The actual move came on Friday from Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) which stated that companies could make it compulsory for employees who are set to hit the workplace after the pandemic subsides to be vaccinated. There has been scepticism about the vaccines and with the reduction in demand for inoculations on the part of American individuals, this move was taken to encourage people to go for the shots. However, the stigmatization of healthcare workers is not what the EEOC might have had in mind. There is a growing understanding that employees of companies other than those in healthcare can be encouraged to go for the shot using this approach. However, medical workers are already exposed to the virus in varying degrees and are known to have developed immunity even without the shot. Therefore, the move by the Texas Hospital to ask them to get vaccinated or lose their jobs has been not welcomed by many. The employees themselves have moved court and did not leave any stone unturned to make their woes known.
While this move was announced by the EEOC, most of the employers of the US have refused to follow it or make vaccinations compulsory for their employees since the choice to get vaccinated largely voluntary. While this corresponds with the sentiment to building immunity using other methods, it definitely weakens the vaccination drive that the Joe Biden administration wants to achieve. To help with the numbers, after vaccinations reached almost 50% of the adult population of the US, numbers are down by 19-20% on a per day basis from the same figures in mid-April. This is a major win and has given the American crowd to travel miles on Memorial Day weekend. Air travel has shot up and while everybody around is looking to embrace the new normal, an employer mandate is hardly enough to change the minds of people who do not want the shot. Therefore, it is not a surprise that a survey revealed that only 9% of the 700 employers that were interviewed agreed to the mandate of making vaccines compulsory. The others maintained that the employees are responsible for their own health and workplace performance. Therefore, the Texas healthcare workers are right on track with their plea about not allowing the hospital to make vaccination a compulsory mandate to their job roles.