NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) – Protesters stood in front of Ascension Saint Thomas Hospital on Saturday afternoon to voice their disagreement with vaccine mandates.
The people protesting had left by late Saturday afternoon, but they said they're healthcare workers or family of people in the medical field and they don’t want companies to penalize workers who choose not to get the vaccine.
Ascension is requiring all employees to be fully vaccinated by Nov. 12. Although, people are recommended to get vaccinated 21 days apart for Pfizer or 28 days apart for Moderna, employees would need to get their first shot of Pfizer by Saturday and their second shot on the Ascension deadline of Nov. 12 to meet the company’s requirements.
The demonstration could be seen on both sides of Harding Pike, in front of the entrance to the hospital. Signs read “Coercion is not consent,” and “No Jabs for Jobs,” or “Terminate the Mandate, Not the Healthcare Worker.”
"I worked odd shifts. I worked weekends that I wasn't accustomed to doing so that other people could be home with their families," Saint Thomas employee Kendall Barnett said. "I worked very hard through the pandemic, not nearly as hard as some of the nurses in the ICU's, but now it's mandatory that we have this vaccine, and it's not right. It should be a choice."
Ascension Saint Thomas Hospital released the following statement to News 4.
Right now, 48 percent of the state is currently fully vaccinated and 57 percent of residents in Davidson County are fully vaccinated.