LAFAYETTE, La. — Because the fourth surge of the COVID-19 pandemic continues to emphasize healthcare methods throughout the state, demonstrators lined the road outdoors of Our Woman of Lourdes, talking out towards vaccine mandates.
These protesting outdoors the hospital had been a mix of healthcare professionals and other people advocating for what they are saying is the proper of healthcare employees. A number of held indicators with phrases like “Drop the mandate” and “No Alternative, No Voice, No Care.” They are saying they need the liberty to decide on whether or not or to not get the vaccine.
Demonstrators inform us they aren’t discussing whether or not or not the vaccine works, however are merely advocating for the selection of getting vaccinated or not. One nurse we spoke with instructed us she believes that for each one particular person protesting there are 1,000 healthcare employees afraid to protest out of concern of shedding their job.
“Everyone ought to have that very same proper whether or not you are a affected person, you are a nurse, you are a physician,” stated Katherine Self, RN. “We really feel like we had been important final 12 months, and now we’re being instructed we’re expendable. So we’re out right here to advocate for our freedom as People.”
Dr. Henry Kaufman, chief medical officer at OLOL says that is not the case.
“None of our nurses or staff members are expandable,” he stated. “We wish to maintain all people right here, however we wish to do it within the most secure attainable approach. We have misplaced extra nurses and staff members at this level from COVID infections than we have now from any attrition from the vaccination. You are an necessary a part of the staff, we wish you right here, however we additionally wish to preserve the very best diploma of security for our staff members and our sufferers.”
We requested Self what she instructed sufferers once they ask concerning the vaccine.
“I inform them to talk to their doctor,” stated Self. “But when they ask me if I am vaccinated, I inform them no.”
Not everybody on the protest works in healthcare, nonetheless.
KATC spoke with Leslie Worth and Pam Sack, who say they know many nurses and others in well being. Sack believes there may be extra help past those who confirmed as much as protest.
“You hear all this honking,” stated Sack. “I’ve by no means seen this many individuals honk for a protest. For each single particular person standing out right here to help these healthcare employees, there’s most likely a thousand folks behind us.”
In the meantime, Worth clarified, they aren’t arguing whether or not the vaccine works or not.
“It must be about their selection,” stated Worth. “Not what any person someplace says they’re alleged to do. If you need it, get it, however if you happen to don’t, you shouldn’t be pressured to after which get fired since you’re not gonna do it. That’s not America.”
Inside Lourdes, hospital officers on Tuesday reported 104 COVID-19 sufferers; of these, 94 had been unvaccinated.
Lourdes Chief Medical Officer Dr. Henry Kaufman stated, “None of our nurses or staff members are expandable. We wish to maintain all people right here, however we wish to do it within the most secure attainable approach. We have misplaced extra nurses and staff members at this level from COVID infections than we have now from any attrition from the vaccination. You are necessary a part of the staff, we wish you right here, however we additionally wish to preserve the very best diploma of security for our staff members and our sufferers.”
It is heartbreaking, Kaufman added, to have a nurse sitting at a COVID-19 affected person’s bedside look out the window and see folks protesting towards what they’re making an attempt to do.
OLOL introduced earlier this month that workers should be vaccinated by November or face termination. As of August 15, 65% of Lourdes workers in Acadiana had been vaccinated.
Kaufman added that Lourdes is not going to waiver, and its COVID-19 vaccine requirement nonetheless stands.
KATC’s Victor Jorges was reside outdoors of Lourdes and can have the newest in our night newscasts. At 6, he’ll be talking with Our Woman of Lourdes Chief Medical Officer Dr. Henry Kaufman.
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