Watch CBS News

Some UCHealth Employees Protest Being Required To Get COVID Vaccine

AURORA, Colo. (CBS4) - Monday morning, nurses and healthcare workers lined up on the sidewalk outside of UCHealth University of Colorado Hospital to protest a requirement to get a COVID-19 vaccine or lose their jobs. UCHealth is just one of the hospitals requiring the shots.

"I think this is why we live in the United States and that we have the ability to do that, and I think people should be able to express their opinions," Dr. Michelle Barron said.

UCHEALTH ANTI VAX 5PKG.transfer_frame_107
(credit: CBS)

Barron is the Senior Medical Director of Infection and Prevention for UCHealth. She expressed compassion for those who wanted to voice their opinions outside of the hospital, but also felt it was an opportunity to educate.

"The vaccine is just one extra added precaution, but I have natural antibodies so I'm not going to hurt you," J'nai Zugates, protestor said.

Zugates told CBS4 she has had COVID-19 and still has antibodies to keep her from contracting COVID-19 again. She explained, she has been in full compliance with virtually every other protocol, but wants the right to choose when it comes to the vaccine.

Barron points out it's not enough to wear masks and wash hands, the vaccine is crucial to stamping out the virus.

"We have very good data looking at individuals that have received vaccination, did not receive vaccination, and looked at whether or not the rates of vaccination in those groups are the same. It's not. If you just had natural immunity, your risk of getting infected is twice the amount of if you got vaccinated," she said.

UCHEALTH ANTI VAX 5PKG.transfer_frame_317
(credit: CBS)

For some, the data is a problem, while trust is another issue.

"Well, the numbers are controlled by the CDC so whatever you read is being controlled by the government and CDC," another protestor said.

"So, the CDC is not the sole source of this information this safety data that has been collected from the vaccine worldwide, it's hard in my mind to imagine that we would have that much cooperation in the world to have the same messaging," Dr. Barron explained.

Come Oct. 1, all staff at UC Health will have to get two shots. Exemptions will be made for religious or medical reasons.

UCHealth released, 90% of its workers have already been vaccinated.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.