Roche Diagnostics terminates ‘small number’ of workers for not getting COVID-19 vaccine

(IBJ file photo)

Roche Diagnostics, one of the region’s largest employers, said “a small number” of workers across its U.S. locations have been terminated after choosing not to get vaccinated for COVID-19 by the Nov. 15 deadline set by the company.

The company said 96.4% of its approximately 8,000 U.S. employees are fully vaccinated, and another 2.6% have been approved for medical or “sincerely held religious beliefs.”

“There are a small number of employees who elected not to be vaccinated and for whom we are ending their employment with Roche,” the company said in a statement Monday. “Given our top priority is to protect the health and safety of our communities, we are disappointed that there are any employees in this situation, but we respect each colleague’s decision.”

The company declined to specify how many employees were terminated. “I can tell you it’s extremely small,” spokeswoman Michelle Johnson said in an email. “Like 1/10 of a percent.”

About 3,000 people work on the company’s large campus at 9115 Hague Road on the northeast side of Indianapolis and another 1,500 people work elsewhere across the region. The campus is the North American diagnostics headquarters of Swiss pharmaceutical giant Roche Inc.

Several thousand additional Roche workers included in the vaccine mandate work outside of Indiana, in Boston; Seattle; Branchburg, New Jersey; Pleasanton, California; Santa Clara and San Jose, California; and Tucson, Arizona.

The company said in August that all employees must be vaccinated “to prevent the spread of the virus at our site and the risk it poses to our people and operations.”

Roche Diagnostics sells and services machines and software to help physicians, hospitals and laboratories throughout the United States and Canada analyze data and diagnose patients.

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40 thoughts on “Roche Diagnostics terminates ‘small number’ of workers for not getting COVID-19 vaccine

    1. I’m sure all 3 people are very surprised they got fired for being unable to give a good reason they lived under a rock for the last two years.

      Proud of Roche.

    2. A good reason: if you already had COVID, you have better protection against COVID than someone who is vaccinated.

      That’s the actual science.

    3. Quoting studies that haven’t even gone through the peer-review process as actual science would lead one to believe that you don’t actually understand “actual science”. You may as well be the Atlanta Falcons proclaiming themselves Super Bowl champs when they’re up 28-3.

      If you even read the summary of the studies, as opposed to just the headlines you probably saw misquoted on some crank website, you’d learn that even if being previously infected gives protection (which is still up for debate as differing studies have shown differing results), the study out of Israel showed that the protection you get from previous infection is even better if you get vaccinated. Because they never seem to mention that part of the story, do they?

      https://ncrc.jhsph.edu/research/comparing-sars-cov-2-natural-immunity-to-vaccine-induced-immunity-reinfections-versus-breakthrough-infections/

    4. Joe, I didn’t dispute that fact, but you’re still ignoring the fact that previous infection is superior to vaccination by itself.

      Making previously infected people get the vaccine is as idiotic as forcing vaccinated people to be inoculated with COVID to maximize protection against future infection.

    5. It’s not idiotic unless you’ve seen a whole lot more data than I have. What I’ve seen so far is that previous infection, same as vaccination, wanes. You don’t get a golden vaccination pass for life because you got COVID back in May 2020.

      Even the state of Indiana’s awful bill recognizes that natural immunity wanes and only grants a six month exemption … so anyone infected before July 2021will be unvaccinated in the eyes of the state of Indiana.

      https://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2021/s0806-vaccination-protection.html

    6. Maybe we should use logic and realize that mandatory testing of everyone, vaccinated and unvaccinated, is necessary to find anyone sick with COVID and treat them with IV antibody therapy.

      Instead we have boneheaded public policy focused on “vaccinating” everyone with a vaccine that is far less effective than initially predicted.

    1. One tenth of one percent. You’re such a tiny minority on this issue. Go get the shot and stop being a menace to society.

    2. Charles, why is menacing for someone else to be unvaccinated? You got the vaccine, you’re protected, aren’t you?

    3. Charles, you do realize that people can be vaccinated, but against the forced injection against someone’s will, correct? Your reply to Joe by telling him to “go get the shot”, is your narrow echo-chamber view that people must be “anti-vax” if they find mandated/forced injections to keep one’s job, to be appalling.

    4. Joe, those vaccines are actually effective against infection from those viruses unlike the COVID shots. Originally it was 90%+ effectiveness, now it’s 50% and dropping.

      The lack of effectiveness is a persuasive argument against unnecessary medications mandated by government or its proxies in the corporate business world.

      Plus, mRNA vaccines are vastly different from traditional vaccines which use viral epitopes to generate immunity.

    5. You didn’t answer the question. I’ll also point out that hospitals already mandate the flu vaccine for their employees (or they fire them) and they’re not nearly as effective. And from what I’ve been told, their exemption process is rather limited.

      I supposed we can all wear masks and lock down society for another long winter while we run studies for another few years to figure out how many doses it takes to gain full immunity, and get all that long-term data to come in, and maybe wait for some better vaccines, better than the J&J one that’s made the old-fashioned way and wears off even faster than the mRNA vaccines …

      Or we can do the best we can with what we have with the tools we have. Which is simple – get the unvaccinated vaccinated, give boosters to those who’ve been vaccinated more than a few months ago, and see how it goes and try to keep living.

      Or you can just keep running around killing people with the misinformation and just pretend that COVID doesn’t exist and it’s not a problem at all for an entirely preventable disease to be taking up ICU capacity as flu season hits.

    6. More people have died in 2021 from COVID-19 than in 2020, even though we have the “vaccine” now with the majority of people having received it. Something is obviously not working, and you can see it in countries like Israel that have the vast majority of its citizens vaccinated and boosted yet with incredibly high outbreaks of COVID infections.

      COVID is not going away, the simplest actual answer is mandatory testing of everyone on a weekly basis, regardless of vaccination status, to isolate the sick from the non sick. Everyone who is positive needs to be offered antibody therapy from Lilly or Regeneron.

      It is idiotic to put all your hopes in a vaccine which has been proven to be far less effective than when it was obituaries initially approved by the FDA.

    7. Yes, something’s not working. We still have way too many people not vaccinated and the pandemic fatigue has set in. People are over the pandemic. We have plenty of tools like masks that could make a difference on top of vaccines but people are done with them. And Florida tried your plan as part of opening up when it came to the antibodies and it didn’t help, my thought is that the same folks who won’t get vaccinated also delay treatment (or try the crank cures) and don’t turn to medicine until it’s too late. Maybe the pills will help, but not holding my breath.

      More people getting vaccinated and boosted might not lower the number of cases, but it will lower the number of people who end up getting cases badly enough to require hospitalization, the ICU, or dying. That’s the way out to drive COVID down to flu levels.

      Good luck selling the mandatory testing with the kooks running around spreading the misinformation. Give it a week and people will be claiming the testing is to make sure you get your Bill Gates 5G chip inserted in your body as part of George Soros’ plan to take over the world.

    8. You’re ignoring the Israeli data if your conclusion is “vaccines aren’t working, so let’s force more vaccines to make them work better”. It’s complete lunacy to think that more of the same thing that’s not working will magically make it work better. You can’t have “herd immunity” from vaccination if the vaccine immunity is 50% or less and the duration of immunity is less than 6 months.

      People make up their own minds about their health, they choose to drink alcohol, smoke cigars, eat rich foods, all of which are shown to negatively affect public health, yet we haven’t had mandates forbidding this dangerous behavior.

      You could even make the hypothesis that vaccination is causing natural selection pressure to make COVID more infective which is why the 2021 death count is surpassing all of 2020, but that would involve you acknowledging that evolution exists.

      At the end of the day, Biden has completely failed on COVID, and people are suffering the consequences.

    9. Your 50% number your tossing around makes clear you don’t understand what you’re talking about. The vaccine was never sold as “two shots forever”, nor was it sold as preventing infection in all cases instead of just preventing hospitalizations, ICU stays, and deaths. But you know that if you’ve done any reading besides the first two paragraphs over the last 18 months.

      You, much like the Indiana legislature, are over your skis. But, go ahead, keep blaming Biden for not fixing the mess he inherited fast enough. Maybe if he could sue right wing media off the air for the misinformation they’re spreading, he’d have cleaned things up faster.

    10. Biden inherited 3 vaccines, 2 therapeutic antibody infusions, and COVID pills in development. How he managed to turn a slam dunk into a face palming incompetence is no wonder when you see his Afghanistan debacle and massive runaway inflation.

      If the whole point of a vaccine is to stop infection, then the COVID vaccine is an abject failure. This is now a pandemic of the vaccinated, who get infected, don’t bother getting tested, then spreading their infection to everyone else, oblivious to the fact that they could be transmitting it.

      Mandatory daily testing of every vaccinated person is the only way to identify who among the vaccinated are continuing to carry the scourge and allowing natural selection to design the optimal infectious pathogen.

    11. Week ending Nov 18: 4032 new #COVID19 cases among fully #vaccinated Hoosiers, 25 hospitalizations, 55 newly reported deaths. 80% of cases, 97% of hospitalizations, 76% of newly reported deaths were #unvaccinated.

      Since July 1:

      80% of cases unvaxed
      93% of hosp
      79% of deaths

      Since Jan 18 (1st full #vaccinations)

      86% of cases #unvaccinated
      96% of hospitalizationsn
      91% of deaths

      1.94% of fully #vaccinated have tested positive
      13.66% of unvaxed

      Hospitalized: .04% of vaxed, .89% of unvaxed
      Died: .02% of vaxed, .22% of unvaxed

      https://twitter.com/WIBC_EricBerman/status/1463274281350176773

    12. Joe, look over your data again. It’s pretty obvious that a large fraction of those getting COVID are fully vaccinated. Why aren’t the vaccinated being tested daily to identify those who are harboring the virus and spreading it to others?

      The vaccinated are already compliant with government mandates, so they’re the easiest to target with the new rules for daily testing.

      You’re ok with that, aren’t you? Or are you a science denier who is hurting the rest of the public with your disease?

    13. Um, no. You claimed this was a pandemic of the vaccinated. I posted numbers showing otherwise. Spare me the large fraction nonsense. IU is going 2-10 this season in football, should they brag they won a large fraction of their games?

      We may get to where it’s a pandemic of the vaccinated, but we aren’t there yet.

      That said, if 100% of people were vaccinated, 100% of cases would be in vaccinated people. I’d also bet you a big hot fresh box of Long’s yeast donuts that if 100% of people were vaccinated and properly boosted that the numbers of hospitalized/ICU/dead people would be lower, and the majority of those cases would be people who (for instance) got the J&J one shot back in April 2020 and think they’re still protected 15 months later, or people who aren’t boostered.

      I’d be fine getting tested weekly. I’d test myself more at home if the tests weren’t hard to find, and I do wish the government had flooded the market with cheap at-home COVID tests. Your logic that we should just target the vaccinated for testing, while allowing the unvaccinated who are making up the largest number of cases and needing care to just live their best lives, falls flat.

    14. Turns out the booster shot doesn’t just restore immunity, it makes you more immune. From the article by those hacks at (checks source) the Financial Times…

      “Evidence provided to the government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) found that the protection against symptomatic Covid offered by all vaccines began to wane 10 weeks after the second dose, falling significantly after four to six months.”

      “Protection against symptomatic infection was 93.1 per cent for people aged 60 and above who originally received the Oxford/AstraZeneca jab and 94 per cent for BioNTech/Pfizer recipients a fortnight after the booster shot was administered.”

      Make sure to look at the chart. It’s illuminating. Your point stands that immunity drops, but then the booster shot gives you even more immunity than you ever had.

      https://www.ft.com/content/8330da6c-031d-4613-8f55-5b0269eaac00

    15. Joe, you completely missed the point that this is now a pandemic of the vaccinated: because of piss-poor messaging from Biden, people who have been vaccinated assumed they couldn’t get infected, so if they have symptoms of COVID infection they skip getting tested but instead go about their lives spreading the infection to everyone else.

      The unvaccinated, on the other hand, assume they have COVID so they get tested. The cumulative effect is a bias towards identifying only vaccinated positive cases and skewing of the data.

      The vaccinated are actually the great carrier of COVID in the population, and through natural selection (ever hear of evolution?) COVID is developing into a more infectious and deadly disease.

      Why don’t we find out how many typhoid Marys are in the vaccinated pool? Because the boneheaded morons in the white House are blinded by politics and are refusing to do something so basic from every level epidemiology.

    16. I didn’t miss your point, I just posted plenty of data otherwise. You’ve yet to share even a large fraction of data to support your perspective.

      You can’t claim it’s a pandemic of the vaccinated when 80% of the cases are among the unvaccinated. Are there vaccinated people who have COVID who aren’t testing? Sure! There’s also plenty of unvaccinated people who aren’t getting tested because if you don’t get tested, you can’t test positive. Don’t pretend every unvaccinated person who gets COVID is getting tested.

      My kid got COVID last year from a child whose sibling who was clearly symptomatic and the whole family should have been isolating but … their family didn’t think COVID was really a thing, so they didn’t get tested or isolate and infected a bunch of other people. So absent a lot of data, I’m not inclined to give the unvaccinated the benefit of the doubt that they are going to skip the vaccine, but they’re going to otherwise be doing everything right when it comes to wearing masks or getting tested or isolating at the first sign of symptoms. Heck, you can’t even ask them if they’re vaccinated without them getting all upset.

      Again, mandatory testing for everyone is a fine idea … but you’ve got no chance of getting the unvaccinated to play. And if 40% of the population won’t comply or participate, what’s the point? Your idea makes as much sense as raising taxes on those who already pay taxes to encourage tax cheats to start paying.

    17. Your data don’t give the full picture because of the bias inherent in who goes in for testing. Those who are vaccinated have the same pharyngeal COVID viral concentrations as the unvaccinated, but with diminished symptoms compared to the unvaccinated who have much stronger symptoms that are obviously consistent with COVID. The stronger the symptoms, the more likely you’ll be worried enough to get tested.

      It’s why fundamentally we need to test everyone regardless of status, because that’s the only way you can isolate the SICK vs uninfected. This is so basic to epidemiology you have to wonder why the moron “leaders” like Biden and Fauci aren’t proposing it.

      Why test the vaccinated? To identify and quarantine the typhoid Marys.

    18. So you have no data to support your positions and we are just supposed to agree it’s a pandemic of the vaccinated, or that people aren’t getting tested, because of your gut.

      You came in claiming it’s a pandemic of the vaccinated and the only way out is not to test everyone, it’s to just test the vaccinated and let the unvaccinated run free.

      Direct quote: “Mandatory daily testing of every vaccinated person is the only way to identify who among the vaccinated are continuing to carry the scourge and allowing natural selection to design the optimal infectious pathogen.”

      I’m going to need some numbers. A study. Anything besides just your gut. That’s how this works. You haven’t produced a fraction of any size, small or large, to back up what you’re saying that I’ve not been able to prove otherwise.

      For instance, you had a concern about vaccine effectiveness. I produced a study showing that, yes, vaccines decline in effectiveness but the solution is boosters, it’s not to stop vaccinating people. Stopping vaccinations at this point is the dumbest thing I’ve heard yet.

      For maybe the 5th time, I’m fine with testing EVERYONE. But explain to me how you’re going to get people who won’t get vaccinated to submit to daily testing. And explain to me how this is all Biden and Fauci’s fault when there is an entire right-wing media infrastructure pushing misinformation and nonsense when it comes to vaccines. I’m all for Biden and Fauci getting some blame, but they’re down the blame list well behind the Fox hosts (all of whom are vaccinated) yet push the misinformation because it makes them big money, or Facebook who lets the nonsense spread to make them money.

    1. Community effort to destroy the livelihoods of others because they’re refusing to take medicine they don’t want?

  1. Good for them. Maybe 10 people nationwide, like 3 locally, were unable to give any good reason why they didn’t get the shot? Come on – this company builds the rapid test equipment, so they all know the importance of the vaccine by now.

    1. You can still get COVID even if you’re vaccinated. You can get regeneron immunoglobulins if you test positive with COVID.

      I don’t see a problem here, but obviously you feel like you have the onus and moral superiority to force something against someone’s will.

    2. D. H This company literally makes testing equipment to stop the spread of COVID. The people who “got fired” wanted to be fired. Big company, big pay, big rules. Take it or find another job.

    3. Jaron: yet, nobody is mandating vaccinated people to be tested regularly with Roche COVID tests, even though vaccinated people are as likely to spread COVID as the vaccinated when symptomatic.

  2. This has never been about the best interest of public health. It’s about the government declaring a public health crisis as an excuse to suspend constitutional rights, violate privacy, and limit freedom of speech, assembly, and individual choice. Get the vaccine, or don’t get the vaccine is none of anyone’s business. This china virus has become nothing but world wide fear-infected travesty. Why isn’t china being held accountable? Oh, that’s right, it’s political.

    1. Well, I guess we can thank comrade Trump for the government takeover of our rights.

      Republicans love the big government!

    1. Baffling that they’re not testing vaccinated employees to make sure they’re not bringing COVID to work and infecting everyone else. But Roche is less of a science company and more of a corporate stooge for Biden and the rest of the morons in the white House who can’t be bothered to study the actual science of vaccinated people getting infected with COVID.

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