“So, what we’re saying is we care enough about the nurses and we really care about the patients that they take care of, and we want them to be safe,” said Delanor Manson with the Kentucky Nurses Association. “And the way to be safe is to get vaccinated.”
Manson said the protesters’ concerns center on three issues:
- Not knowing what’s in the vaccine.
- Long-term effects of the vaccine.
- Lack of full FDA approval.
Manson also said the association doesn’t want to force nurses to get the shot, but health care workers need to do what it takes to protect patients – and that includes getting vaccinated.
State Representative Savannah Maddox filed legislation that would stop employers from mandating the vaccine.
“Many of the folks I’m standing with today are licensed in the Commonwealth of Kentucky to provide care for Kentuckians. So they have training,” she said. “If they don’t feel it’s in their best interest to receive the vaccine at this time, they should have the right to not be forced by their employer.”
For frontline workers who are also on the protest line, the future is uncertain.
“I want the community to understand we genuinely care about our patients,” Sheets said. “They’re going to lose a lot of nurses. I think a lot of these hospitals think we’re just going to sit there and take it. I can tell you right now, everyone I know that’s not vaccinated, their plan, they’re going to have to fire us. I’m not walking out willfully.”