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Protest against vaccine mandate at Vidant Health

Published: Aug. 22, 2021 at 8:34 PM EDT
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GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) - Several people, including former and current employees at Vidant Health, gathered on the sidewalk across from Vidant Medical Center in Greenville on Sunday to protest the vaccine mandate issued by Vidant Health.

Employees are required to be vaccinated by October and December, depending on the position.

The hospital system said last month it will require their employees provide proof of vaccination unless exempted due to medical or religious reasons.

Those granted exemptions may be required to undergo weekly testing and potential reassignment away from units with immunocompromised patients, according to Vidant.

“I can’t debate the merits of the vaccine, but I am debating the way it’s being approached,” Cesar Colon said. “If you’re given a choice ... well then you should have that choice.”

Colon, who is a registered nurse, was echoed by other people in attendance who felt it should not be mandated.

“As Americans, we’re tired of being pushed and shoved being told what we will and won’t do,” former Vidant employee Frani Boberg said.

Some faith leaders also weighed in.

“This is all about freedom to choose,” David Giro said. “Everybody likes that until the choice is actually against what they believe. This isn’t a black and white people only thing. If you don’t have control over your own body, you’re not a free people anymore.”

The protest also brought attention to helping flood victims in the western part of N.C. and supplies were donated.

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