A couple dozen people protested outside UPMC Chautauqua in Jamestown over the vaccination mandates for healthcare workers Tuesday night.
New York State is facing multiple lawsuits over its vaccine mandate for health care workers. Monday was the state’s deadline for health care workers to receive their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. While the overwhelming majority of these workers are vaccinated, the mandate has received some legal challenges.
One group of medical workers has filed a lawsuit for a religious exemption to the rule. A judge has put a temporary restraining order on the enforcement of the mandate until October 12th, but only for those claiming a religious exemption.
UPMC Maternity Unit Nurse Shaina Reynolds said she was removed from the schedule as of midnight Monday due to not being vaccinated. She said she chose not to be vaccinated for personal reasons, “Very personal, religious reasons. And I also don’t believe anyone should be forced to make a medical decision that becomes public. And I’m standing here, honestly, for the right to choose.”
Reynolds says six people in her department were removed from the schedule for not being vaccinated. She said nurses are required to have other vaccinations for employment, “Vaccines that have been studied for years and years, we know the effects, and ones that actually prevent disease.”
Reynolds declined to comment on whether she trusted medical doctors and professionals in regards to the development of the COVID-19 vaccine.
Meanwhile a separate lawsuit has been filed by some members of the New York State Correctional Officers and Police Benevolent Association. They are state hospital security officers who say the mandate violates their constitutional rights.
The Civil Service Employees Association is also challenging the state and won a court order to temporarily halt the mandate for non-judicial court system workers.