Dozens of health care workers are suing two hospital networks in Louisiana over their COVID-19 vaccine mandates for employees, arguing that studies have shown the vaccines do not prevent the transmission of the virus.
Lawyers for the plaintiffs said they are seeking temporary and permanent injunctions against vaccine mandates that were handed down by the Ochsner Lafayette General Medical Center and Our Lady of Lourdes Regional Medical Center.
The lawsuit filed against Ochsner stipulates that citizens in Louisiana have “a fundamental right to decide whether to obtain or reject medical treatment” under the state Constitution, previous court rulings about informed consent and privacy concerns, and state law.
Citing claims that the COVID-19 vaccines do not prevent the transmission of the virus, the lawsuit said that they’re unnecessary. Officials with the Centers for Disease Control and Food and Drug Administration have said that while the vaccines don’t always prevent transmission, they protect against serious symptoms of COVID-19.
“There is no longer any serious argument that mandating vaccines will prevent transmission or eradicate the disease as previously claimed,” the court filing reads. “Nevertheless, Defendant is attempting to force Plaintiffs, and others, to undergo vaccination for COVID-19 over their personal objections and in disregard of their uniquely well-informed understanding of the virus and treatment options.”
The suit, filed against Oschner, added: “In the best possible light, these hospital mandates are a misguided effort to participate in a public health crusade by coercing private-sector employees to undergo medical treatment for their own good and the good of the public at large,” according to the Center Square news outlet.
The complaint filed against Our Lady Lourdes Regional Medical Center noted that the health care facility did not acknowledge “natural immunity” granted by a previous COVID-19 infection, according to the news report. Some studies have found that individuals who contracted the virus had long-lasting and significant protection against COVID-19, and an Israeli study published in late August found that individuals with prior infection were better protected against the Delta variant.
Our Lady of Lourdes Regional Medical Center in August announced that all employees will have to receive the COVID-19 vaccine by Nov. 30, while Oschner said last month that its workers will have until Oct. 29 to be able to continue to work.
Our Lady of Lourdes’s Chief Medical Officer Dr. Henry Kaufman told local media at the time that the “preponderance of science is heavily weighted for the benefit of vaccination, and of this there can be no doubt” and asserted that vaccine mandates are “really nothing new.”
The Epoch Times has contacted Our Lady Lourdes Regional Medical Center and Oschner for comment.
Our Lady Lourdes said in a statement in response to the lawsuit that it “values all of its team members and respects their rights” and “maintains its vaccination policy, which we believe to be consistent with the law and appropriate to the circumstances.”
Ochsner Lafayette General, in a statement, said that “employees with medical and religious objections are able to file exemption or deferral requests which are individually and thoroughly reviewed by a panel of experts.” It added, “We continue to serve as a source of truth and provide ongoing resources, education, and vaccine opportunities to our employees and the community.”
More than 80 people were listed as plaintiffs in the lawsuit, filed in 15th Judicial District Court in Lafayette by attorney Jimmy Faircloth Jr.