Katie Yarber, RN, BSN, says delivering babies at Houston Methodist Hospital during the height of last year’s COVID-19 restrictions has been the highlight of her career. “It was incredibly rewarding,” recalls Ms. Yarber. “The moms couldn’t have visitors, so I acted as their partners and family members, as well as their nurse.”
Fast forward to June 2021, when Houston Methodist became the first large health system in the country to mandate COVID-19 vaccines. Ms. Yarber was told in an email that failing to get vaccinated would run afoul of the system’s mission of prioritizing patient safety and would be grounds for dismissal. She would not comply, saying she was uncomfortable with the vaccine’s emergency-use status and objected on religious grounds, and was fired. “I went from frontline hero to frontline zero,” she says.