Videos of anti-vaccine healthcare workers being removed from jobs reinforce misleading claims
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Videos of anti-vaccine healthcare workers being removed from jobs reinforce misleading claims

Thousands of city workers march across the Brooklyn Bridge as New York Mayor Bill de Blasio’s vaccine mandate looms just days ahead of the deadline, on October 25, 2021 in New York City, USA.
Thousands of city workers march across the Brooklyn Bridge as New York Mayor Bill de Blasio’s vaccine mandate looms just days ahead of the deadline, on October 25, 2021 in New York City, USA. (Photo by John Lamparski/NurPhoto)

Several videos of anti-vaccine medical workers recording themselves being suspended or fired from their jobs at healthcare facilities have generated significant interest in the past few days.

Most physicians and healthcare workers in the United States have received Covid-19 vaccines. In a June survey, the American Medical Association reported that 96 percent of physicians have been fully vaccinated against Covid-19. And in earlier surveys of thousands of members, the American Nurses Association and the American Association of Nurse Practitioners reported that most of their members had received the vaccines.

In one video, which had been viewed over 7 million times on Twitter before the account was suspended, a San Diego-area nurse filmed herself being escorted out of a medical facility after refusing to take the Covid-19 vaccine for religious reasons. The nurse told a San Diego television station she believed her “God-given immune system” was good enough to fight Covid-19. In addition to its spread on social media and amplification by influencers, the video also received coverage from news organizations and digital outlets such as The New York Post, The Daily Mail, Newsday and the right-wing One America News Network.

Similarly, in another video, a healthcare worker at a Los Angeles hospital was escorted out for his refusal to receive what he called “the experimental vaccine,” a long-lasting misinformation narrative. The video, shared by a Facebook Page based in South Africa, has received at least 3.5 million views since last weekend. These viral videos once again show how misleading claims from healthcare workers — even if they have no training in epidemiology or vaccine science — can resonate because due to their profession, they are perceived as experts. — Keenan Chen

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