Protesters protest in opposition to Cone Well being’s obligatory COVID-19 vaccination at Moses Cone Hospital in Greensboro

GREENSBORO, NC (WGHP) – Some speak out after Cone Health, Novant Health, and Wake Health announced that COVID-19 vaccinations are required for all employees.

Cone Health plans to roll out this mandate on Friday so employees can get the vaccine by October 1 and provide proof of vaccination by October 9.

Dozens of people with signs and horns stood outside the Moses Cone Hospital in Greensboro on Thursday. Some of the protesters are medical professionals.

“It’s called ‘get it or else,’ but we can only stand up and fight for our rights because we are,” said Angela Collins, a Cone Health employee. “As my sign says, they cannot override our God given right and that is what they are doing and it is wrong. I’ve been here for over 20 years, a dedicated employee, a loyal employee like most of us. It’s just wrong. “

“It’s not that we’re anti-vaxers, we’re anti-push,” said Wendy Die, a Cone Health employee.

Passing drivers honked their horns in support while protesters held up posters asking if they could choose.

She’s been with Cone Health for 15 years and worked long, hard hours on the front lines during the pandemic.

“I find it shameful that the leadership has put us under stress for so long,” said Die.

Health care workers from other hospitals came to provide assistance, such as Lorri Lemons, who was already receiving her vaccine.

“December or January, I was one of the first to get it. I’m here because it should be a choice. It’s not yet approved by the FDA, ”said Lemons.

At the moment, the FDA has only approved the COVID-19 vaccines for emergency use

FOX8 asked some people in the crowd, if the vaccines got full FDA approval, would they change their minds?

“I think I would consider it if more data came out,” said Amy Bowles, an associate at Wake Forest Baptist.

Cone Health said in a statement:

We value our team members’ right to voice their concerns. At the same time, we stand firm in our decision to seek the COVID-19 vaccine as the safety of our patients and communities at all times is at the heart of our values ​​and commitments.

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“I sincerely believe that this decision is absolutely right for our patients and the communities we serve,” said Mary Jo Cagle, CEO of Cone Health. “Vaccination is critical in healthcare. This is one way to ensure a safe environment for all members of our community. “

Wake Health and Novant Health have also remained unchanged.

Protesters protest against Cone Health’s compulsory COVID-19 vaccination at Moses Cone Hospital in Greensboro

Novant Health said in the company’s announcement:

While we hope each team member will accept the vaccine themselves, a mandatory vaccination program will ensure that Novant Health’s patients and visitors, as well as our team members, are better protected from the COVID-19 regardless of their location. This disease is preventable with a safe and effective vaccine, and we are committed to doing everything in our power to end this pandemic.

According to Novant Health, more than 97% of people hospitalized for COVID-19 are unvaccinated and 99.2% of COVID-19-related deaths are in people who were not vaccinated.

“It is not a simple matter of his one organization. I will work here. It’s the entire health organization, ”said Lemons.

Staff believe a decision should be made and hope that the outcome of the protest will cause healthcare systems to rethink.

“We have wholeheartedly supported this system, so it is time you supported us,” said Die.

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