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'I'm just not ready to get the shot yet' | Cone Health employees protest COVID-19 vaccine requirement

A large group of people took to the sidewalk in front of Moses Cone Hospital Thursday to take a stand against the healthcare system's vaccine requirement.

GREENSBORO, N.C. — Healthcare workers protested in front of Moses Cone Hospital about the vaccination requirement.

Protesters started gathering Thursday morning around 10 a.m. along North Church Street in Greensboro.

Cone Health announced the requirement last week, which takes effect starting July 30. Employees will have until October 1 to become fully vaccinated with a deadline of October 8 to submit the proof of vaccination. 

Cone Health said employees can apply for medical and religious exemptions.

In a statement released Thursday, Cone Health said, “We value our team members’ rights to voice their concerns.  At the same time, we remain steadfast in our decision to require the COVID-19 vaccine because keeping our patients and communities safe at all times is at the core of our values and our commitments.”

Protesters had signs, music and even megaphones to have their voices heard. 

“We don’t feel safe about that. We’ve done our own research as nurses. I’m a nurse. We’ve done the research we don’t feel safe about it ourselves. we love what we do we want to keep doing what we do, and we want to have a choice. if we get it great if we don’t want to get it that’s great too," said one nurse, who didn't want to be identified in fear she'd lose her job.

Another healthcare worker said she isn't ready to get the shot just yet.

"I'm just not ready to get the shot yet. I might get it later, but I'm just not ready to get it by September and I don't want to lose my job just because I'm not ready to do something yet," she said. 

Cone Health is one of six hospitals across the state to require the COVID-19 vaccine for its employees.

The other two health systems in the Triad with the requirement are Novant Health and Wake Forest Baptist Health.

As of last week, more than half of Cone Health employees have been vaccinated. 

Right now, 58% of eligible North Carolinians have gotten at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.  

To find out where you can get a COVID-19 shot, call the state's helpline at 888-892-1162 or dial 211.  

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RELATED: Protesters push back after Triad hospitals announce vaccine mandate for employees