First Hospital in U.S. to Mandate COVID-19 Vaccines Ends Requirement

Houston Methodist, the first hospital in the United States to mandate COVID-19 vaccines, will no longer require employees to receive the vaccine.

The move follows a decision by the Texas legislature, which prohibited hospitals from using the vaccine as a condition for employment.

“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 internal statement read, according to The Epoch Times. “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.”

When Texas Governor Greg Abbott (R) signed the bill earlier this month, he said, “Senate Bill 7 prohibits private employers from requiring employees to get a COVID vaccination—and employers that violate this law are subject to a $50,000 fine as well as a lawsuit and injunctive relief from the Texas Attorney General.”

“This law adds to the law that I already signed that prohibits state and local governments from imposing COVID mandates. It’s long past time to put COVID behind us and restore individual freedom to all Texans. I thank Senator Middleton, Representative Leach, and all other members of the Texas Legislature who stood with this issue every step of the way,” he continued.

Texas State Representative Brian Harrison shared on X that the bill should have been passed two years ago.

“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.”

Houston Methodist Director of Communications, Public Relations and Creative Services Stefanie Asin told The Center Square, “It is true that we are following state law, as we always do.”

American Faith previously reported that a hospital was facing a discrimination lawsuit for allegedly terminating an employee for refusing to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

Lynn Kize, a former employee of St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee, claimed she lost her job due to her religious beliefs in relation to the institution’s vaccine mandate.

Ron Hackenberg, the Pacific Justice Institute (PJI) attorney representing Kizer, expressed his disappointment, stating: “I’m probably like many people, thinking St. Jude’s were the good guys. But as far as their administrators go, it’s just appalling.”

He further emphasized the gravity of the situation by saying that St. Jude’s has been “so callous in discharging Lynn Kizer at 59 years of age, when she could have been accommodated, refusing to even talk to her, and even going as far as filing misleading information with the courts to justify their actions.”

Hackenberg didn’t mince words, branding the incident as “religious discrimination under Title VII” and vowed, “We will continue fighting for justice for Lynn as we have these past two years.”