Protests are being held outside some California hospitals Monday against the state’s coronavirus vaccination mandates.
The California Department of Public Health has stated that all health care workers, including those in hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, clinics, doctor’s offices and more, need to prove they are vaccinated against COVID-19 by Sept. 30.
The new mandate allows only limited religious and medical exemptions. Those who are exempt would still have to undergo regular testing, as often as twice a week, and wear a mask in all workplace settings.
“It’s our body, our choice,” said a demonstrator at a rally outside Children’s Hospital Orange County and Providence St. Josephs Hospital Monday.
Video showed dozens of protesters gathering outside the facility for a two-hour rally, which began at 8 a.m.
“I’ve risked my life for people that have had COVID over the last 18 months,” said a man who described himself as a 12-year employee working in an Orange County emergency room. “I’ve put up a fight for them and I don’t have any desire to force anything on anybody else,” he said.
A simultaneous rally was being held at Riverside Community Hospital from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m.
Another rally is scheduled for this afternoon, between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. at Rady Children’s Hospital in San Diego.
The protests are being organized by a group called America’s Healthcare Workers for Medical Freedom, which is primarily using social media to spread the word about its events.
Some attending the protests dispute findings about the safety of the available COVID-19 vaccines, saying they are experimental.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved emergency use of the vaccines and is currently considering formal approval.