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Ascension Healthcare employees sign petition against COVID-19 vaccine mandate

(WPMI) Ascension Healthcare employees sign petition against COVID-19 vaccine mandate
(WPMI) Ascension Healthcare employees sign petition against COVID-19 vaccine mandate

Ascension Healthcare employees are calling on the company to reverse its recent mandate requiring all employees be vaccinated against COVID-19 by November 12th.

Employees say it's their body and the decision to vaccinate should be their choice. Especially, they say, since the vaccine isn't fully FDA approved.

A petition calling for Ascension to immediately retract it's COVID-19 vaccine mandate has nearly one thousand signatures in less than 24 hours.

Hundreds of employees from Mobile's Providence Hospital and Pensacola's Sacred Heart say requiring the vaccine is immoral.

"This is a medical intervention that requires informed consent, and we can either accept that and when we deny it, we are discriminated against," said an anonymous employee.

NBC 15 News is protecting the identify of one local Ascension employee who is speaking on behalf of hundreds of her coworkers.

Several employees wonder if their health insurance will cover them if the vaccine makes them sick, will they receive workers compensation, and will their life insurance policy kick in if the employee dies.

"It's making us feel like we are not supported by our employers," said the employee.

Federal law provides that, at least until the vaccine is licensed, people must have the option to accept or decline to be vaccinated. The FDA granted emergency use authorization but is still conducting clinical trials until 2023.

Ascension is a private entity. It says it provides exemptions to employees for religious reasons and those with medical conditions.

"However, there are associates that don't have a religion or don't have a true medical will justify exemption, and I don't think they should be forced into doing something they have repeatedly denied," said the employee.

So what happens to employees if they refuse to get vaccinated? We reached out to ascension with that question. The only reply we received back was that there is no more information that will be released.