A group of more than 200 protesters gathered outside the Met Campus of Windsor Regional Hospital on Wednesday to express their opposition to mandatory vaccination for all hospital staff.
Members of the protest delivered an unsigned statement to the media covering the event.
“We are vaccinated and unvaccinated health workers who are here today for informed consent, autonomy, confidentiality and medical privacy,” the statement read. “We believe in the ability to make a personal and / or medical decision.”
The group stopped on the north side of Tecumseh Road East and cheered as many passing motorists honked their horns.
“Firing staff willing to work is not the answer. Please let us work, ”the statement said.
The hospital-wide vaccination mandate went into effect on September 22, the deadline for all employees, volunteers and students to receive at least one COVID-19 injection. There were 147 workers who had not received a vaccination by the deadline and were placed on a two-week unpaid leave the next day.
The statement said the protesters would not speak to the media.
“We miss our patients and colleagues,” he said. “We miss helping our community. Coercion is not consent. “
WRH issued a joint statement from Board Chairman Anthony Paniccia, CEO David Musyj and Chief of Staff Dr. Wassim Saad in response to the protest.
“We endorse our WRH vaccine policy which was unanimously approved by our medical advisory committee and our board of directors. Patients and their loved ones expect us to do everything we can to prevent the spread and / or outbreak of COVID-19 within our hospitals, to protect our community, patients and staff, and to lead by example.
This means ensuring that all of our employees and professional staff are vaccinated. The compliments and thanks regarding the WRH vaccine policy far outweigh those who do not support it. We thank the Windsor / Essex community for stepping forward with their appreciation and recognition of the need for this type of policy in a healthcare setting, ”the statement read.
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As of Wednesday, 97.3 percent of all staff or 4,105 employees are vaccinated or following hospital policy. There are 113 employees who remain unvaccinated.
Any WRH employee who has not been vaccinated by October 7 will be fired or have their hospital privileges revoked, in accordance with the hospital’s mandate.