Vidant nurses protest health system’s vaccine mandate outside hospital

Meanwhile, Vidant Health said this is them doing their part to stop the spread of COVID-19.
Meanwhile, Vidant Health said this is them doing their part to stop the spread of COVID-19.
Published: Aug. 12, 2021 at 6:49 PM EDT
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GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) - A group of nurses against the COVID-19 vaccine and advocates gathered outside Vidant Medical Center in Greenville to protest the health system’s COVID-19 vaccine requirement for employees.

The original protest set for Thursday was cancelled, but some still showed up with signs to protest.

They said it is a response to Vidant’s newest vaccine mandate, a requirement for most employees to get the shot by December unless they have a medical or religious reason not to.

“I don’t want to put that in my body because I don’t know what it’s going to do now or 10 years from now,” said Joseph Burke, a nurse at Vidant Medical Center in Greenville.

Burke said he would likely be willing to lose his job if his only option was to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

Vidant said the science is clear and that this is their way of doing their part to stop the spread of COVID-19.

“Vidant Health must do what is right for the patients and communities we love and serve. Keeping patients, their loved ones and our team members safe and healthy is central to our mission. The science is clear: COVID vaccines are safe and effective. About 90% of patients in Vidant hospitals being treated for COVID-19 are unvaccinated making it clear we have a solution that works,” said a spokesperson for Vidant Health in a statement.

Vidant has reported that 55% of their staff and over 90% of physicians are already vaccinated.

Protesters say they plan to have a larger gathering outside the Greenville hospital on August 22nd.

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