People Gather To Protest Sanford Hospital's Vaccine Requirement
More than a hundred people stood in the rain to make their voices heard about Sanford’s vaccination mandate. Many held signs with false statistics about the vaccine and phrases like “my body, my choice.”
Chad Bishop questions the need for the mandate.
“Why would they choose to do this now when there's 33 people in all South Dakota hospitals sick with COVID at the moment,” he says, “why would they force this upon their employees at this time?”
Another protestor says she is a healthcare worker in Sioux Falls. She has questions about the vaccine’s safety and potential adverse side effects.
Sanford’s decision to require vaccinations for all staff was announced last week. Dr. Mike Wilde is the vice president and chief medical officer of Sanford Sioux Falls. He says natural immunity to the virus and new mutations are not scientifically reliable.
“As the variants have come forward, the vaccines have proven over and over again that they're successful against those variants.” Dr. Wilde says, “We're not 100% sure on that natural immunity and so just really encouraging the vaccination.”
Dr. Wilde says 95 percent of the physicians and people related to the decision have already been vaccinated.
“It's those folks, myself included, that have a good look at the evidence, and we certainly can respectfully disagree. However, as you look at the science that's out there, and just in excess of 100 million vaccines given and the safety around those, we can very confidently support the safety and effectiveness of the vaccine.”
This week the South Dakota Department of Health reports nearly 270 new cases of COVID-19 and 1 death related to the virus. Just under 54 percent of people 12 and older have completed the full vaccine series.