Many gather at capitol to protest mask and vaccine mandates

Hours before the audit results were announced, another crowd gathered outside the state capitol to protest mask and vaccine mandates.

Many protesters, including lawmakers and healthcare workers, called these mandates violations of their rights and freedom.

"This is our God-given right to have freedom of our own bodies," said Grace Blaser of Phoenix.

Blaser is a healthcare worker. She, along with many others in the profession at Banner and Honor Health, is required to get the vaccine by November 1.

She says at this point, she does not trust the vaccine.

"I don't believe that these vaccines have been tested and proven enough. I think they are doing more harm," Blaser said.

Rhonda Hawkins, another healthcare worker at the protest, agrees.

"I'm not an anti-vaxxer. I've always promoted vaccines. I've always gotten vaccines. This one, I will not."

Dr. Ross Goldberg at Valleywise Health says many of the arguments against the vaccine are not valid. He says they are a result of misinformation.

Goldberg adds that like any medication, there are possibilities for side effects. But those numbers, he says, are very low.

He says that the vaccine was by no means rushed. Those who worked on these vaccines, he explains, were building on past mRNA research.

"What Pfizer and Moderna and others did, was that while they were studying and going through the phase three trials, they were also making the vaccine at the same time because they had that ability because of the finances provided by the government," Goldberg said.

Dr. Goldberg says that moving forward, the way to beat this pandemic is to get vaccinated.

"Public health at times will overrule individual freedoms, and we've proved over the last 18 months that vaccinations are a big part of stopping the spread."

Dr. Goldberg recommends that if you have any concerns about the vaccine to discuss that with your doctor.

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