BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — A crowd has gathered in front of Ascension St. Vincent’s Hospital Friday to protest the company’s requirement for employees to get vaccinated against COVID-19.
The protestors held signs reading, “My Body My Choice” and “Freedom Not Force.”
Ascension St. Vincent’s released a statement saying they will still work to require all associates to be vaccinated by Nov. 12:
We respect the right of people to peacefully voice their opinions about the COVID-19 vaccine in a manner that complies with our policies and shows respect for our patients, visitors, providers and other associates.
We believe the latest surge of COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations across the country clearly demonstrates the urgency for everyone eligible to get vaccinated to protect themselves, their loved ones, our patients, providers, visitors, staff and the communities we are privileged to serve.
We also know that serious illness and hospitalizations resulting from COVID-19 are largely preventable. Currently, just under 90% of all COVID-19 patients hospitalized across our ministry have not been vaccinated. And right now, 97% of COVID-19 ICU patients we are caring for have not been vaccinated
We must do more to help overcome this highly contagious virus. Like numerous health systems across the country, Ascension is moving to require our associates to be vaccinated against COVID-19 by November 12, 2021. This date aligns with the timing of the mandatory influenza vaccination program we’ve operated successfully for many years.
This decision is rooted in our Mission commitment to leading with quality and safety.Ascension St. Vincent’s
The recent rise in COVID-19 cases across the state has created an influx of patients being hospitalized and being admitted to ICU units. State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris said Friday that Alabama has a “net negative” amount of available ICU beds.