Florence, South Carolina 2021-07-31 11:11:40 –
Durham, NC (WNCN) — Healthcare workers, hospital staff, and activists went to a street outside Duke University Hospital on Friday, demanding that Duke Health not require employees to receive the COVID vaccine.
The protest along Irwin Road will take place a week after Duke Health announces that all employees will be required to receive the COVID-19 vaccine by September 21st.
Protesters called Duke Health’s COVID-19 vaccine unconstitutional and argued that healthcare professionals and hospital staff should have the right to decide whether or not to vaccinate.
Christie Rasmussen, a nurse at Duke Regional Hospital, said:
Rasmussen said he had not been vaccinated and had no plans to fire.
She said she was ready to lose her job in that regard.
“We know that we need to stand up and choose what we believe in compared to work safety,” Rasmussen said.
As of Friday morning, Duke Health officials said 23 percent of employees were not vaccinated.
Katie Galbraith, President of Duke Regional Hospital, said: “We need to keep everyone safe, and vaccines help us do that.”
Duke Health currently has more than 20,000 employees. This means that 4,600 (23 percent) of these individuals could lose their jobs if they do not receive the COVID vaccine or provide a medical or religious exemption by September 21st.
Duke Health is already experiencing a shortage of nurses, and CBS 17 asked authorities if they should dismiss health care workers when they are already in short supply.
“We don’t want to lose anyone, but we believe this is a very necessary step for us,” Galbraith said. “This really concerns safety and our great responsibility as a healthcare provider to care for our community.”
Galbraith said most of the 23% of unvaccinated people believe they will be vaccinated in compliance by the deadline.
CBS 17 asked Duke Health how many of their nurse positions were available, but they said no information was available.
Duke Health workers protest vaccination rules; 23% of employees unvaccinated Source link Duke Health workers protest vaccination rules; 23% of employees unvaccinated