150 people protest Wellstar’s decision to mandate vaccines for workers

COBB COUNTY, Ga. — About 150 people held an anti-vaccine mandate protest outside Wellstar Corporate offices in Marietta.

The “Stop the Mandate” protest began at 11 a.m. on Sawyer Road. It was held by some Wellstar medical workers who say they’re worried about losing their jobs if they refuse to get a vaccine.

Starting Oct. 1, all Wellstar medical workers will need be vaccinated or they will no longer be able to be employed.

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The workers told Channel 2′s Tyisha Fernandes that they aren’t sure if their protest will change Wellstar’s decision but they want their voices heard.

“Call it unconstitutional, call it whatever you want,” said protester Darrell Hester. “You’ve got medicine out here that’s taking years, decades to be approved and then you see you on TV now they say, ‘Hey, if you or your loved one has taken such a such a product, call this lawyer.’ Well, this has only taken months and it pushed through, yeah, that’s a little scary.”

Last month, Channel 2′s Justin Gray learned that there are thousands of medical workers who have chosen not to be vaccinated.

Kaylee Sinkoe is a traveling nurse currently working in the ICU at Piedmont Hospital and is one of those health care workers who has chosen to wait on getting vaccinated

“I do have some history of reactions to vaccines and things like that, so it makes me a little apprehensive,” Sinkoe said.

Representatives with Wellstar released a statement Wednesday afternoon that reads:

We value our team members for all that they do, and respect their right to peacefully express their views regarding our decision to join many other health systems by requiring COVID-19 vaccination in order to protect our patients, team members, and communities. We understand that some employees have questions about our new policy announcement, and we are committed to providing a safe forum to hear and address concerns. The best protection we currently have against the ongoing global COVID-19 pandemic is vaccination, especially as we experience a concerning and rapid increase in cases and hospitalizations from the COVID-19 Delta variant.

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