Capitol rally against COVID vaccine mandate for health care workers

Vaccine mandates continue to be a hot-button issue for some. Health care workers rallied in Madison Tuesday, Aug. 10 against COVID-19 vaccination requirements being put in place at area hospitals.

"We have people here that are health care workers, not health care workers," said Taylor Falesnik. "We have educators."

The group of hundreds gathered in Madison Tuesday morning, rallying against coronavirus vaccination mandates.

"It’s violating our freedom of choice," said Falesnik.

The march and rally came after area hospital systems announced they will soon require staff be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, a move happening at Froedtert, Advocate Aurora and hospitals across the country.

"There are many of us who will not comply with this," said Angela Amundson. "We will leave our jobs if it comes to it."

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Amundson said she is an ER nurse in the Milwaukee area and has treated COVID-19 patients but is not willing to get a vaccine.

"There are many concerns that a lot of us health care workers have with the safety of this vaccine," said Amundson.

"These are approved for emergency use for the general public," said Dr. William Hartman. "They’re safe, and they’re effective and they are working."

Dr. Hartman is an anesthesiologist who headed several vaccine trials at UW Hospital.

"Vaccinating the health care staff is really the best way we can ensure we have the healthiest environment for our staff members but also, the patients that are coming into our hospitals," said Dr. Hartman. "It’s truly our professional responsibility as health care workers to get vaccinated, to serve as an example to the community."

Froedtert announced its vaccination deadline is Nov. 1. Advocate Aurora's requirement kicks in Oct. 15.

Protests against COVID vaccine requirements

The fight over whether employers can force workers get the COVID-19 vaccine is growing, as more and more places say they will require it.