PHOENIX - Arizona health care workers and the community gathered for a rally at the Arizona State Capitol to protest the mandatory COVID-19 vaccinations after a recent decision made by Banner Health and HonorHealth for all employees to be required to be vaccinated by November 1.
April Rivas, a protester, says she doesn't support the vaccine mandate.
"This is our final stand for freedom. What we choose to put into our own bodies. This is not a political issue our livelihood should not be on the line. We should not be forced to feed our families or participate in an experimental injection," Rivas said.
Chrissy Tekut, a nurse for 13 years with Dignity Health, says she was at the protest to support health care workers.
"We go everyday. We take care of sick people. We have been 18 months into this taking care of COVID patients. We love our patients, we love what we do, but I don’t take the flu vaccine. I’ve never been mandated to take the flu vaccine so really standing for our rights as Americans," Tekut said.
Banner Health released a statement:
"Vaccination is the single most effective way to end the pandemic and that the mandate is one more way to demonstrate our commitment to safety."
HonorHealth released a statement:
"Our decision to require covid-19 vaccination by November 1 is consistent with our mission to improve the health and well being of those we serve."
Tekut says when the time comes to decide it won't be easy.
"That’s a hard decision because we have families. We love what we do, we need to make money so it’s tough to say hey are you willing to quit but really we should be given the freedom to wear a mask. We aren’t saying we won’t wear a mask at work. We will for safety, but we should have the choice if we’re going to inject ourselves with something," Tekut said.
An attorney at the protest giving people legal advice, says he predicts thousands of lawsuits in the near future.