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Group Holds Rally Outside Deaconess Protesting Vaccine Mandates

The rally took place one day before Deaconess' October 1 deadline for employees to receive the vaccine.

Posted: Sep 30, 2021 11:43 PM
Updated: Oct 1, 2021 9:38 AM

Dozens lined the sidewalks in front of Deaconess Midtown Hospital Thursday in the latest rally to end vaccine mandates for health care workers.

"It's really not fair," Connie Grisby said. "I mean these people that had jobs here for how long?"

One week after protesting outside Ascension St. Vincent Evansville, the Tri-State Medical Liberty Group took their efforts to the region's largest hospital system.

"I'm a registered nurse myself," Kisha Byers said. "There's no account taken for natural immunity that we acquired as front-line heroes working through the pandemic before a vaccine was ever available and I think this is a real injustice to the health care workers."

The rally took place one day before Deaconess' October 1 deadline for employees to receive the vaccine.

"I can't imagine taking it, unwillingly taking it to keep a job," Grisby said. "That would not happen. I'm not doing it."

With their signs and sounds of encouragement from cars honking as they drove by, the impassioned group wants those still refusing the vaccine to know they have support.

"Stand your ground, wait for the last minute, fight this out," said Shawn Vidiella.

While some rallying outside the hospital were not tied to health care, many were.

Vidiella is a former certified nursing assistant (CNA) who took the shot in January. She said the vaccine changed her life forever.

"It wasn't mandated yet in my facility," she said. "I live every day now with tremors, shakes, I have convulsions, I have seizures, I can no longer drive."

Whether their efforts ultimately change current policies, many at the rally said they'll continue to line the streets and fight for the right to choose.

"We're here to support them," Michele Weller said. "Whatever somebody's decision would be, but everybody should have the right to their own decision."

44News reached out to Deaconess but they declined to say how many of their employees are currently unvaccinated.

Ascension's deadline for employees to get vaccinated is November 12.

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Wow!!!! It's cold!!!! After a trace of snow in Evansville and some highe amounts to the south, we're waking up to temperatures in the mid to upper teens across the Tri-State. Thankfully, road crews did a fantastic job treating the roads to keep conditions from getting slick. However, the northerly winds gusting as high as 15 to 20 mph has dropped wind chill values into the single digits and even below zero in our western communities. There won't be much of an improvement in temperatures this afternoon. With the strong northerly wind flow and dry skies our highs will only reach the mid to upper 20s. Winds will stay quite breezy keeping the wind chill factor in place through the day.
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