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Protesters speak out against Novant Health’s vaccine mandate for employees

Published: Sep. 9, 2021 at 11:23 PM EDT
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WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - Dozens gathered outside New Hanover Regional Medical Center Thursday afternoon to protest Novant Health’s vaccine mandate for employees. The new regulation calls for all employees to be vaccinated by September 15.

Protesters at the rally today say health care workers should not be forced to get the COVID-19 vaccine because they know what is best for themselves.

“You’re dealing with healthcare professionals. Who else is better qualified to make those decisions about whether they should or should not have to get the shot?” said Ken Willson, a concerned Wilmington resident. “If anybody can make that decision its the people in that building over there.”

Many of the rallygoers believe there should be no vaccine or mask mandates anywhere in Wilmington or the rest of the country.

“I have no problem. If you want to get a vaccine, that’s great,” said Wilmington resident Earl Grover. “Just don’t tell me I’ll have to get one if I don’t want to get one and that’s been my big issue.”

Despite the increased risk of serious illness from COVID-19 in unvaccinated people, many of the protesters at Thursday’s gathering say they are not worried about what might happen if they catch the virus.

“I am not nervous at all, I have God on my side,” said Rocky Jeter-Webb. “That is my protector. That is who will get us through this. God’s got our back.”

Some even say they would rather die before taking a COVID-19 vaccine.

“They will put a bullet in my head before I ever take the vaccination,” said Grover.

Several of the protesters say that choosing not to take the COVID-19 vaccine is a risk they are willing to take.

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