Hospital employees protest mandatory vaccines

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – Staff from Baptist Health Lexington gathered outside the hospital Monday afternoon to protest vaccination mandates. Earlier this month, Baptist Health announced it was requiring all of its employees to get vaccinated against COVID.

The hospital systems says employees must get their first dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine by September 15. Exceptions will be made for those with legitimate medical or religious reasons.

Baptist Health is one of 12 Kentucky hospitals requiring employees to get vaccinated as COVID-19 cases climb, fueled by the highly-contagious delta variant and the unvaccinated. Baptist says almost 70% of its nearly 23,000 employees have already received the vaccine.

“For the staff members that have put their lives on the line for the last 18 months, to the patients, I mean I hope that Baptist realizes that we’re not the only ones that are losing out, it’s also the patients,” says Isabella Meza, a nurse at Baptist Health Lexington.

The vaccine requirement extends to contractors, independent licensed healthcare providers and vendors.

“Our top priority is the safety of our patients, visitors and staff. We respect the right of our staff to protest peacefully,” the hospital said in a statement in response to the protest.
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