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The Houston Methodist Hospital at the Texas Medical Center campus in Houston. Photo: Callaghan O'Hare/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Houston Methodist Hospital on Tuesday suspended 178 employees without pay for 14 days for failing to comply with its COVID-19 vaccine requirement.

Driving the news: The Texas hospital's CEO, Marc Boom, said in a message to staff shared with Axios that 24,947 workers had been vaccinated against the virus by Monday's deadline. 27 of those who didn't get fully vaccinated "have received one dose ... so I am hopeful they will get their second doses soon," Boom said.

  • 285 staff "received a medical or religious exemption, and 332 were granted deferrals for pregnancy and other reasons," per Boom's statement.

The big picture: The hospital is being sued by 117 employees who allege that its policy mandating that all staff must be vaccinated against the coronavirus is unlawful.

  • A group of medical workers rallied outside the hospital on Monday in protest against the policy, notes the Washington Post, which first reported news of the suspensions.
  • The federal government said last month that it is legal for companies to require workers to get vaccines.

What else he's saying: "I know that today may be difficult for some who are sad about losing a colleague who’s decided to not get vaccinated," Boom said.

  • "We only wish them well and thank them for their past service to our community, and we must respect the decision they made."

Editor's note: This article has been updated with new details throughout.

Go deeper

Kate Marino, author of Markets
Sep 16, 2021 - Economy & Business

Biden enlists business leaders in campaign for vax mandates

President Joe Biden at a meeting with business leaders Sept. 15, 2021. Photo: Oliver Contretas/Getty Images

President Biden convened a meeting of top business leaders Wednesday to build support for a sweeping vaccine mandate that will affect most of America's workers. The message: Vaccines work, and the stalled uptake is holding back the economy.

Why it matters: As vaccine rates have flattened across the country, business leaders have the power to impact their employees’ decisions. Many corporate leaders had been looking for stronger federal guidance to lean on.

U.S. Army warns troops may be disciplined if they don't get vaccinated

A soldier receives a dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. Photo: Jon Cherry/Getty Images

The U.S. Army announced on Tuesday that troops could face discipline if they are not fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

The big picture: The deadline for U.S. Army troops to be vaccinated is Dec. 15. 40% of Army troops had been fully vaccinated as of late August. National Guard units have until June 30 next year to meet the vaccination deadline.

Updated 5 hours ago - Energy & Environment

Bomb cyclone prompts blizzard warnings from Virginia to Maine

Computer model projection showing the intense storm off of Cape Cod on Jan 29, 2022, with heavy snow and strong winds lashing the coastline. (Weatherbell.com)

Blizzard warnings are in effect for 11 million people from coastal Virginia to eastern Maine as a historic winter storm is set to slam the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast beginning Friday.

Why it matters: The storm will bring hazards ranging from zero visibility amid hurricane force wind gusts and heavy snow, to coastal flooding that will erode vulnerable beaches and threaten property from the Jersey shore to coastal Massachusetts.