By Beth Brelji
A major pharmaceutical company this week fired many employees who refused to get the COVID-19 vaccine. Syneos Health is a global pharmaceutical outsourcing company with some 28,000 employees in more than 110 countries. It contracts with bigger pharmaceutical companies including COVID-19 vaccine maker Johnson & Johnson/Janssen.
While J & J employs pharmaceutical representatives, it also contracts with Syneos Health to provide additional pharmaceutical representatives. Each Syneos representative is paired with one from J&J and they work together, selling drugs to doctors and other health care providers.
“It’s the same exact job, same exact customers, same exact expense reporting. Everything is the same, we’re just employed through different employers. And yet we’re being forced to be vaccinated and they’re not. We’re being told it’s because we can’t do our job, yet my Janssen counterpart can be unvaccinated, have an exemption, and still do the same exact job,” one sales representative told The Epoch Times.
Two recently fired Syneos pharmaceutical representatives spoke with The Epoch Times on the condition of confidentiality as they finalize their employment benefits and search for new work.
They said J & J is granting permanent medical and religious exemptions for their employees, allowing them to keep their jobs, but Syneos exemptions were temporary and their time to comply is up.
Employees who applied for exemptions from the shots got a “good news/bad news” letter from Syneos on Dec. 9. The good news: the company was granting a temporary exemption. The bad news: The exemption ended on Jan. 31, along with their jobs. Until then, employees were not allowed to enter any U.S. Syneos building.
Florida employees got a different letter, granting them a temporary exemption from the vaccine. The letter allows them to enter Syneos buildings in Florida, but company buildings outside the state are off-limits. Their exemptions will be re-evaluated in 30 days, the letter said. Those in Florida are protected by a state law making it more complicated for companies to mandate COVID-19 shots.
Syneos did not respond to a request for comment in this story and did not provide the number of affected employees in this global company. Former employees said the mass firing was company-wide.
Pharmaceutical Workers Say No
Syneos pharmaceutical sales representatives, many with science or health backgrounds, attend a two-month pharmaceutical school when hired. Here, they are taught the science behind the drugs they sell. They were not selling COVID vaccines, but they have a working knowledge of pharmaceuticals.
“A lot of us were questioning the shots because they didn’t go through the proper safety and efficacy studies that are traditionally required for all medications. And being in the medical industry, part of our job is discussing safety and efficacy about our products and our competitors’ products with doctors, physician assistants, and nurse practitioners. For there not to be safety and efficacy data with these COVID shots, many of us wanted to wait,” one former Syneos employee said.
These employees didn’t view the shots as “bad.” They just wanted more data before making a decision. Many people took the shots without questioning it.
“The government said do this; it is in your best interest and you can go back to normal,” a former employee said. “As time has gone on, we’ve seen, obviously, these are not actual vaccines that inoculate you and give you immunity. And there are a lot of reports of—and people that we know personally—who have been injured from these shots, so there’s a good percentage of us that never got them. As data continued to come in, we were not going to get them.”
Some already had COVID-19 and trust their immune systems, some had religious objections.
“God gave us an immune system and has already proven that our natural immune system works, so there’s no reason to take an experimental medication,” a former employee said.
The other former employee says it’s a matter of not living in fear.
“I know that COVID has taken people’s lives just like the flu has, and pneumonia, and other viruses. But I’m not going to inject myself with something that has no long-term data. I’m not comfortable being an experiment for these pharmaceutical companies, and COVID has such a high percentage of survival rate that there’s no need for me to.
“So many people just live in fear, and they are living through what the media is telling them, and it’s just unfortunate that more people don’t actually do some research. The survival rate is so high and I’m so healthy, that I just don’t have a reason to be afraid.”