SAYRE, Pa. (WETM) – Vaccine mandates have been issued to local healthcare workers, with the threat of termination from their job. In Elmira, over one hundred people gathered last weekend in Wisner Park to protest, and another local protest has already been scheduled for this weekend in Sayre, Pennsylvania.
The Sayre vaccine mandate protest has been organized by a local healthcare worker, Sam Bennett, who was told that anyone who is not vaccinated by September 27th would be fired. He said he and his colleagues are willing to risk it all as martyrs for this cause.
“I love my patients I love my work…Do I expect to be terminated? Absolutely, and I’m ok with that, so at least I will go down saying what’s right,” said protest organizer, Sam Bennett.
Bennett says his group has grown to over three hundred people, and he is expecting nearly one hundred people to show up at this weekend’s protest. He said that it’s important to note that they are not actually protesting the vaccine itself.
“People in our group are vaccinated…What we are fighting is not vaccination it’s the mandation [the mandating] of vaccination.” Bennett added, “I have every vaccination under the sun besides this COVID vaccine.”
On Saturday, the group will be walking around the perimeter of Howard Elmwood Park since that they could not get a permit for the inside of the park in time before their September 27th deadline. This deadline is now exactly one month away.
Right now, Bennett does not have a plan for where he might work if he does get terminated. He said he is hopeful that employers, that aren’t mandating vaccines, are hiring.
Arnot Health released this statement today:
With the NYS COVID-19 vaccine mandate deadline just one month away for all healthcare workers, Arnot Health is finalizing its policy and plans in compliance with the mandate. We are currently incorporating recent updates, such as yesterday’s announcement by NYS that religious exemptions have been removed from the mandate. The final policy will be shared with employees next week.
As we work to minimize any impact the mandate may have on our organization, we are encouraged by the number of additional employees who are now obtaining vaccinations or have indicated that they intend to be vaccinated prior to the September 27 deadline.