'A political toy': Texas critical care doctor says nurses won't get COVID vaccine for 'politically motivated' reasons

'A political toy': Texas critical care doctor says nurses won't get COVID vaccine for 'politically motivated' reasons
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A doctor in Houston, Texas has revealed that "more than half of the nurses in his unit" are not willing to take the coronavirus vaccine due to politically motivated reasons, despite the state's healthcare systems being inundated with increasing positive coronavirus cases and hospitalizations.

During an interview with NPR on Wednesday, Dr. Joseph Varon, critical care unit chief at the United Memorial Medical Center, was notified that the healthcare staff in his hospital would be among the first vaccine recipients. "I had a friendly argument with more than 50 percent of my nurses in my unit telling me that they would not get the vaccine," Varon said.

While some of Varon's staff members were elated to hear the news, others weren't exactly thrilled about the new vaccine. Now, Varon is concerned for those who have opted not to receive the vaccine as they care for the hospital's most critical COVID cases. He also noted most of the opposing nurses have reservations based on political beliefs.

"At the end of the day, like I have said before, coronavirus has become a political toy," Varon said, adding, "Most of the reasons why most of my people don't want to get the vaccine are politically motivated."

Many Americans are apprehensive about the effectiveness of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine, which — the LA Times reports — is "95% effective in preventing COVID-19."

As of Thursday, Dec. 17, the United States has reported more than 17.3 million coronavirus cases across the country. Public health experts estimate that approximately 70 to 75 percent of Americans will need to be vaccinated in order for the country to return to normalcy.

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