Thousands of people have lost their jobs because they refused to get the Covid vaccine. Now, some are speaking out about the fallout.
Karen Roses: I feel secure in my decision.
Raquel Martinez: I don't know the long-term effects.
Rob Hebrst: I opted to take the unpaid leave.
Rehema Ellis: Karen Roses is a Patient Care Technician at a New York hospital. Rob Herbrst, a married father of three boys, spent 17 years at a New York City High School as a Physical Ed teacher. Raquel Martinez is a Pediatric Occupational Therapist. They all reach the same conclusion about vaccine mandates. "Why did you decide to put your livelihood on the line?"
Rob Herbrst: I felt like I didn't have much of a choice in the matter that I was being forced to do something. To put something into my body.
Karen Roses: I felt that, what they were doing, what they have done is they basically held for ransom your health insurance, your benefits your livelihood, your career in some cases.
Rehema Ellis: A decision pulling at Raquel's heart.
Raquel Martinez: My last task at my job, was laminating hearts for my students and I was able to place them in boxes. I'm getting very emotional because I miss them.
Rehema Ellis: The consequences go beyond emotion. "Financially, can you see yourself continuing?"
Rob Herbrst: We have discussed the possibilities of having to sell our house. Having to find a new place to live.
Rehema Ellis: "Does anything keep you awake at night?"
Karen Roses: Yeah. You know, fear of the future.Not knowing, you know, what's going to happen next. Am I going to be able to get a job or we're going to be able to keep our home.
Raquel Martinez: Losing...a significant portion of your income just like that where you weren't able to prepare. It's shocking.
Rehema Ellis: But for them, concerns about the vaccine more frightening than losing their jobs. "Are you afraid that being vaccinated will hurt you?"
Karen Roses: There's too many unknowns for me to be comfortable with it.
Raquel Martinez: I think we need to allow for adequate science and studies to be done.
Rehema Ellis: Rob believes because he already had Covid, he’s protected. Research shows, the vaccines are overwhelmingly effective and safe and antibody levels do wane over time after infection. "What do you say when people say, it's just selfish not to think of the larger community and just to think of yourself."
Rob Herbrst: Well, it's selfish to think that, an individual or a government is going to take away my right to choose what's best for me. Wouldn't that be selfish?
Karen Roses: I don't think anybody should impose their beliefs on me for what I choose not to do.
Rehema Ellis: "What would you need to hear to change your mind?"
Rob Herbrst: I don't think there's anything I need to hear.
Raquel Martinez: If my spirit is telling me this is not right for me, I'm going to listen to my intuition every time.
Karen Roses: I’m not saying not ever, I’m just saying not yet not for me.
Rehema Ellis: Taking a firm stand and now figuring out how to live with it Rehema Ellis NBC news New York.
1. Why were Rob, Rachel and Karen dismissed from their job? Give their reasons in detail.
2. How did Rob and Karen respond to what people say that they are just selfish not to think of the larger community and just to think of themselves as individual?.” Do you agree?
3. Should vaccination be a personal choice? Defend your answer?