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WATCH: Video posted opposing United Regional vaccine mandate

Workers tell News Channel Six why they released the video
Published: Nov. 24, 2021 at 10:54 AM CST
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WICHITA FALLS, Texas (KAUZ) - For most folks in Wichita Falls, getting through the holidays is the main focus at the moment. But, for a handful of employees at United Regional Hospital, the holidays are an after thought

“It was my dream job and I love my work family,” United Regional employee Shena Worley. “I’m devastated.”

With the hospital implementing a December 5th cut-off to get the vaccine, a number of employees have voiced their concerns with protests and now, a three minute minute video outlining what they say the hospital and community risk to lose.

“The medical community as a whole should be aware and should be shocked,” United Regional employee Derek Ruvalcaba said.

A big issue with the mandate for some surrounded around body autonomy.

“I felt like I needed to be in a position to be able to make decisions about what goes into my body and if I’m going to advocate for other people to make those decisions, I have to stand up for that myself,” Worley said.

The hospital says their decision to require the vaccine was “...based on scientific data, thoughtful consideration, and in-depth consultation with our medical staff leadership...”

Right now, 93% of the staff is vaccinated. That leaves the 7%, who collectively have over 240 years of experience, to worry about what’s next rather than the holiday season

“It is a business and we get that, but you also have to treat your employees and honor them for the work that they’ve done,” Ruvalcaba said.

A group of concerned healthcare workers and other hospital employees is speaking out about United Regional’s vaccine mandate, two weeks before the hospital would require all employees to be vaccinated.

A video sent to News Channel 6 by group leaders shows pieces of paper with lists of technical qualifications, experiences and each employee’s reasons for not wanting to get vaccinated. The latter reasons ranged from belief in natural immunity to religious messages.

The papers were surrounded by things like stethoscopes, security credentials, United Regional badges and more. One woman wrote that she was a “believer in Christ who will decide my fate,” while another said, “I have many auto immune [sic] diseases and do not want any experimental drugs in my body! My God is greater than this!”

This is the latest development in the controversy over United Regional’s vaccine mandate. The debate began in September after the hospital declared all employees and providers had to be vaccinated or have started the vaccination process by Nov. 1. This came after a surge in cases throughout Wichita County led the hospital to issue a statement pleading for the public to get vaccinated.

Protestors gathered at the hospital to object to the policy on Sept. 30., a month before the mandate was meant to take effect. After Texas Gov. Greg Abbott issued an executive order cracking down on vaccine mandates in October, United Regional reevaluated, and delayed the start date for their vaccine mandate from Nov. 1 to no earlier than Dec. 1.

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