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Deaconess nurse Craig Meier gets one of the first doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine delivered to the Tri-State.2020...and now 2021 will go down in history- its full impact is still being written. Here is WNIN, IPBS and Side Effects complete coverage.

Local Health Care Workers Protest Vaccine Mandates

Steve Burger

A large crowd of people lined Green River Road near the Lloyd Expressway Thursday evening to protest coronavirus vaccine mandates for local health care workers. 

By October 1 for Deaconess Health System, and November 12th for Ascension St. Vincent, employees have to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 or risk losing their jobs. 

Debra Hobson works from home for a medical billing company associated with Ascension St. Vincent. She doesn’t think she should have to be vaccinated to do her job.

“I think it’s our right to choose whether we want the shot and what’s best for us, and not a company we work for to insist that we get it.”

Laura Beckman has been a registered nurse for eight years.

“It’s just something we have to get through as the human race," Beckman says, "But I should still get a choice, everybody should get a choice on how they deal with it.”

The protest came as Deaconess reported 179 hospitalized COVID-19 patients Wednesday, while Ascension St. Vincent Evansville reported a thirty four percent increase in COVID-19 patients over a week ago.

I asked Beckman about the protest in light of the spike in cases locally because of the delta variant.

“They always want to shove the number of cases down your throat. Doesn’t matter, we’re all getting it. It’s going to be endemic. It’s going to move from being a pandemic to being endemic.”

I talked with another registered nurse with twenty years experience who didn’t want me to use her name, but said she retired recently because of the vaccine mandate.

State Senator Jim Tomes was there, he says to support the protestors in their search for answers about the way the pandemic has been handled so far.

“They’re imposing this on our people. They deserve answers. I haven’t gotten an answer yet on the theory behind some of this stuff.”

Thursday’s protest was organized by a group called Tri-State Medical Liberty.

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