Rally held in support of health care workers against Mayo Clinic vaccine mandate

Published: Oct. 18, 2021 at 5:46 PM CDT
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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) - More than 100 people are rallying against the COVID-19 vaccine mandate at Mayo Clinic in Eau Claire.

The rally, which was held from 4 until 7:30 p.m. Monday along Babcock Street and West Madison Street in Eau Claire, was held ‘in support of healthcare workers who are against the COVID-19 vaccination policy.’

Former nurse Melissa Clyde, who quit last week due to the mandate, said she attended the rally to support her peers and called the mandate ‘unacceptable.’

“I feel like harm’s being placed on our healthcare workers right now,” Clyde said. “And it’s not a choice. They’re being mandated, so it’s not a choice at this point, and that’s unacceptable.”

Mayo Clinic spokesperson Kelley Luckstein said in a statement that the vast majority of Mayo Clinic employees are vaccinated against COVID-19.

“Making COVID-19 a vaccination a requirement to work at Mayo Clinic will help ensure we have a healthy workforce and that Mayo Clinic is a safe place to receive care, just as our patients expect,” Luckstein said in the statement. “The Mayo Clinic enterprise staff vaccination rate for COVID-19 is at 88%.”

“In consideration of the safety of our patients, staff, visitors and communities, Mayo Clinic is transitioning to the next phase of its COVID-19 vaccination program, with vaccination required to work at Mayo Clinic,” Luckstein said. “A review process will be available for staff to seek medical or religious exemptions to vaccination.”

The statement added that staff may take part in social media and advocacy on their own behalf, as long as it’s done in accordance with applicable Mayo Clinic policies.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that the best way to fight the surge of delta variant COVID-19 cases is to get vaccinated. The Wisconsin Medical Society urged health care systems to mandate vaccinations in early August.

For more information on COVID-19 cases and vaccines in Wisconsin, you can visit the Wisconsin Department of Health Services website. The CDC’s website also provides information about case activity, COVID-19 testing and vaccines on its COVID-19 data dashboard. Mayo Clinic also provides COVID-19 information on its website, including visitor information, scheduling for vaccines and additional resources to learn more about the coronavirus pandemic.

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