For most health care workers in Iowa, the vaccine mandates being required by their employer jeopardizes one income. If worse comes to worse, the other spouse may still have a job and insurance.
But that isn’t the case for one Iowa couple in Mason City. The pair has nearly 40 years of combined service at MercyOne, but that service will come to an end on Sept. 21 if Trinity Health, MercyOne, Gov. Kim Reynolds and the Iowa legislature don’t change something fast.
“For us, it’s our whole entire livelihood,” said the woman, who preferred to remain anonymous. “If we don’t get the vaccination, we lose everything.”
The man said he was surprised at how quickly the requirement came.
“All a sudden, here you go — you’ve got 10 weeks to do it or you’re out,” he said.
There is not much compassion coming from leadership either, he added.
“They’re like, ‘well, if this is the way it’s going to be, the fire dates are this, you’ll have insurance until the end of the month,'” he said. “They’re giving all these false facts. They say nobody has died at Mercy from the vaccine, well, we know one has.”
Ultimately for the woman, she said the fact of the matter is the vaccine is still only approved for experimental use. She called their life insurance company to ask if they died from the vaccine would the company pay out benefits.
“If we die from the vaccine my life insurance doesn’t pay to raise our daughters because it is experimental,” she said. “There’s a lot of risk taken with the fact that it’s an experimental drug and it’s not FDA approved. That risk falls all on the person taking the vaccine and not anybody else.”
Administration at the hospital claims they did not know life insurance would not pay out for a death that results from the COVID vaccine, according to the man.
“We’re just hoping and praying that they’re going to change their mind by Sept. 21,” said the woman. “If not, then we have to start figuring out what we’re going to do the rest of our lives I guess. We just want a choice. We want a choice on what we put into our bodies.”
The man said the eyes of the country are likely on Trinity. If the mandate goes through and employees are fired, he said he believes the rest will fall like dominoes.
“But, if somehow we hold strong and it doesn’t go through, then there might be a bit of a slowdown,” he added.
He reached out last week to Gov. Reynolds’ office — but he hasn’t received any response.
“It’s going to set a precedent,” said the woman. “Then things are going to get really scary I think. The biggest thing is if we can push back. All we can do is keep pushing back and keep pushing back and hope that eventually, it turns in our favor.”