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Protesters push back after Triad hospitals announce vaccine mandate for employees

A group of people stood outside Alamance Regional Medical Center Friday protesting Cone Health’s announcement to require the COVID-19 vaccine for employees.

BURLINGTON, N.C. — Protestors stood outside Cone Health Alamance Regional Medical Center Friday to protest the healthcare provider's decision to make employees get a COVID-19 vaccine by the fall.

The decision came Thursday and it’s an announcement several other providers in the Triad and throughout the state made as well.

Cone Health, Wake Forest Baptist Health, and Novant Health were the major Triad hospital systems to make the announcement.

“I saw the strongest woman that I've ever met break down,” said Rodney, who stood outside Alamance Regional Medical Center protesting for his wife, who has worked for Cone Health for nearly two decades.

“If she is forced to be fired she will not have a place to work because all the healthcare places are beginning to do that,” he said.

Rodney said he and his wife believe the vaccine was developed too quickly.

“People that we know had really bad side effects for the longest of times. Fearful and it’s just we don’t trust it and we just don’t want to take it,” he said.

A Cone Health employee that did not want to go on camera or be identified with fear of losing her job said she’s hesitant with the lack of full approval from the FDA.

Now, she is worried and left wondering what the future holds, as other healthcare providers take the same steps.

Cone Health said the requirement will go into place July 30, but employees will have until October 1 to get the vaccine. Employees will have until October 8 to submit proof of vaccination.

Cone Health said medical and religious exemptions are still being finalized.

Cone Health said their action aligns with the recommendations of the American Hospital Association and the North Carolina Healthcare Association.

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