Nurse films herself being escorted from work for refusing to get the Covid-19 vaccine

Nurse says she is not willing to get the vaccine because of her “sincerely held religious beliefs” and is willing to lose “everything, for my freedom”

Rachel Sharp
Tuesday 02 November 2021 12:20
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A nurse has filmed herself supposedly being escorted from her job at a hospital because of her refusal to take the Covid-19 vaccine.

The video, posted on Twitter on Saturday, shows the woman telling the camera she is being removed from the Kaiser Permanente hospital “because I don’t want to get the jab”.

The nurse says she is not willing to get the vaccine because of her “sincerely held religious beliefs” as she urges people to “count the costs” and says she is willing to lose “everything, for my freedom”.

She is seen walking through hospital corridors followed by security personnel.

The video had been viewed more than 5.4 million times as of Monday morning.

“I am being escorted out of Kaiser Permanente Hospital for my religious beliefs – because I don’t want to get the jab,” she says in the video.

“And I asked all day for someone to explain to me why my sincerely held religious beliefs were not good enough for Kaiser. And no one was able to do that for me.”

The nurse continues: “So now they’re escorting me out because I wanted an answer.

“And I’m not leaving without an answer. I have some nurses here who are standing with me in solidarity, and I appreciate that.”

The woman goes on to talk about the importance of her “freedom” at the cost of her “safety and security, my house, everything”.

“I just want all of you to count the costs,” she says.

“I want you to watch this and think, what really matters to me?

“Because I am willing to lose my safety and security, my house, everything, for my freedom. And I want you to think about that.”

She asks the camera: “Let me ask you, do you believe in religious freedom?

“Well, Kaiser doesn’t. Because they are not accepting my religious exemption based on my sincerely held religious beliefs. So. That’s a problem.”

The nurse and her religious beliefs are not identified in the footage.

It is also not clear which hospital she is working at.

Kaiser Permanente is headquartered in California but has several locations across the US including New York, Colorado, Georgia and Hawaii.

Andrew Bindman, executive vice president and chief medical officer at Kaiser Permanente, told The Independent that the healthcare company does “respect our employees’ sincerely held religious beliefs” and “hope none of our employees will choose to leave their jobs rather than be vaccinated”.

“We respect our employees’ sincerely held religious beliefs and acknowledge there are a small number of medical conditions which may prevent an individual from getting vaccinated,” he said in a statement. 

“We are committed to thoroughly and thoughtfully reviewing all requests for religious exemption from our vaccination policy.”

However, the nurse in the video was told to speak to Human Resources about her request and did not do so, said Mr Bindman.

“In the instance of this employee, she was informed that she needed to speak with Human Resources about her exemption request, not her manager or the facility leadership. This is part of our process, designed to protect our employees’ privacy and confidentiality,” he said.

“All information about exemption requests are treated as confidential personnel information. If our employee in this case had connected with HR, she could have asked questions and been provided information about next steps for addressing the vaccination requirement. 

“We will work with her to address her concerns, and will continue to work with other employees who are seeking exemptions for legitimate medical and religious reasons.”

Mr Bindman added that Kaiser Permanente is working with its staff to try to tackle vaccine skepticism.

“We are also working with our employees to allay concerns and educate them about the vaccines, their benefits, and risks,” he said.

“We deeply appreciate the extraordinary commitment and dedication of all Kaiser Permanente employees and physicians throughout our response to the pandemic, especially those who have been serving on the front lines to fight this deadly virus.”

In September, President Joe Biden announced a vaccine mandate for all healthcare workers at hospitals, ambulance services, clinics or facilities funded by Medicare and Medicaid programs.

This covers around 17 million workers in the US.

The mandate has led to pushback from some healthcare workers who have protested the move or quit in protest.

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