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Florida healthcare workers protest vaccine mandates

Posted at 11:19 PM, Sep 24, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-24 23:19:56-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — About 30 Florida healthcare workers made their way to the capitol Friday, some from as far as Pensacola, all in an effort to protect their ability to choose whether they get vaccinated.

"There's a lot of discrimination and truly harassment happening inside of hospitals right now for people that are not vaccinated," said healthcare worker Carleigh Harrison.

Harrison would not tell us where she works, but she did say she helped organize this demonstration as hospitals and other healthcare facilities wait for instructions on how to proceed with the new vaccination plan laid out by the president.

"This is something that people are very passionate about," Harrison added.

It's a passion that Vice President Kamala Harris displayed earlier in the day.

"The awful experience of holding the hand of a loved one who is in an ICU bed or is near death, like, don't put your families through that. The vaccine is free, it is safe, and it will save your life, so folks just need to get vaccinated," Harris said.

Earlier this month, President Biden laid out a plan to require COVID-19 vaccinations for workers in most health care settings that receive Medicare or Medicaid reimbursement. Harrison wants to see the mandate modified.

"I would like for the mandate to be modified to include natural immunity as an exemption, for full exemption," Harrison explained.

We reached out to Tallahassee Memorial Healthcare for their response to the President's Plan. They told ABC 27 they're waiting on guidance from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.