'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
Photo via Shutterstock.

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.

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. AlterNet’s journalists work tirelessly to counter the traditional corporate media narrative. We’re here seven days a week, 365 days a year. And we’re proud to say that we’ve been bringing you the real, unfiltered news for 20 years—longer than any other progressive news site on the Internet.

It’s through the generosity of our supporters that we’re able to share with you all the underreported news you need to know. Independent journalism is increasingly imperiled; ads alone can’t pay our bills. AlterNet counts on readers like you to support our coverage. Did you enjoy content from David Cay Johnston, Common Dreams, Raw Story and Robert Reich? Opinion from Salon and Jim Hightower? Analysis by The Conversation? Then join the hundreds of readers who have supported AlterNet this year.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure AlterNet remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to AlterNet, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.

Close