Waco: Healthcare workers protest against vaccine mandates
WACO, Texas (KWTX) - With many hospitals in Central Texas still requiring their employees to be vaccinated in the coming months, dozens of healthcare workers against it held a protest in Waco Saturday.
By putting the job on the line to refuse taking the vaccine, it’s a risk that Rachel Baldwin is willing to take.
“It’s terrifying because I have student loans and I’m about to get married,” she said.
“However, I have to trust that I’m doing the right thing.”
Even after the Pfizer vaccine received FDA approval, many continue to question the vaccine’s long-term effects, stating these should be enough to keep the mandates at bay.
“It’s preposterous to believe that any resistance towards a mandatory vaccine comes from a lack of concern and compassion for our fellow man,” said Nurse Millie Shinn.
“It’s actually insulting.”
“I’m asking for everyone’s help,” said Nurse Shannon York.
“I’m asking for help to respect everyone’s right to make their own decisions but to also keep our civil liberties to ourselves.”
In a response to the criticism, Baylor Scott & White released a statement stating:
“We support free speech and the right to share differing viewpoints in a safe manner, and we are thankful that the demonstration was peaceful.
Our focus remains on caring for the community, including the sharply rising number of patients we are treating for COVID-19—the vast majority of whom are unvaccinated. We ask our community to help us and each other by practicing distancing, wearing a mask, and getting vaccinated against COVID-19 to prevent serious illness and hospitalization.”
Regardless, Baldwin argues the mandate will cause even more problems for the hospitals moving forward.
“We have lots of nurses and I know doctors specifically that are actually leaving the bedside because of this mandate,” she said.
“So, people are gonna have longer wait times, they’re not gonna be treated properly. We’re already short staffed as it is and it’s only going to increase.”
Both Baylor Scott & White and Ascension Providence will require all employees and associates to be fully vaccinated by October and early November. They add that anyone not able to get vaccinated due to a medical condition or religious reasons can follow the same process for requesting an exemption of the annual flu shot.
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