Jisserlin Reyes 33 and Sandra Balbin 36, COVID-19 vaccine over pregnancy

A Queens couple was laid off after refusing the COVID vaccine due to pregnancy concerns, according to a lawsuit.

Queens couple claims they were both permanently laid off from their jobs after declining to receive the COVID-19 vaccine due to pregnancy concerns.

Jisserlin Reyes, 33, and Sandra Balbin, 36, both of whom are trying to conceive, were fired from their catering jobs in May after refusing to take the vaccine, according to a Queens Supreme Court lawsuit filed Monday.

Sandra Balbin (left) and Jisserlin Reyes
Sandra Balbin (left) and Jisserlin Reyes

The women expressed concern about how the shot might affect women who are trying to conceive.

“I'm not interested in taking any risks. Balbin told the Daily News, "I am two weeks away from being inseminated." “The vaccine is in its infancy. They are continuing to collect data on the vaccine's effect on pregnant women.”

Balbin and Reyes worked as catering attendants for Great Performances/Artists As Waitresses, Inc. until their bosses informed them that their employment would end on May 28. According to the women, the company requires its employees to receive the COVID vaccine.

“I was actually terrified when the person from Human Resources called me... I was on the verge of having a panic attack, sobbing,” Balbin explained.

Sandra Balbin (left) and Jisserlin Reyes
Sandra Balbin (left) and Jisserlin Reyes

She stated that the company's insurance would cover the cost of the fertilization she required to conceive. “Now I'm not sure I have the funds to do this,” Balbin explained.

On Monday, the couple sued Great Performances, alleging wrongful termination and discrimination on the basis of disability or sex.

Balbin had been employed by the catering business throughout the pandemic, while Reyes joined less than a year ago. Balbin stated that she was fine with wearing a mask, social isolation, and having her virus tested twice a week, as the company already required.

Sandra Balbin (left) and Jisserlin Reyes
Sandra Balbin (left) and Jisserlin Reyes

Concerns began when she and Reyes began attempting to conceive via intrauterine insemination.

Balbin and Reyes stated that they sought a second opinion from their physician after Great Performances ordered them to receive the shot. In April, their OB/GYN wrote that "the safety of the currently available COVID-19 vaccine has not been established."

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the COVID vaccine is "unlikely to pose a risk" to pregnant women, but officials note that there is "limited data" and they are still studying the effects.

According to the CDC, over 120,000 pregnant women have reported receiving the vaccine.