Bay Shore health care workers protest COVID-19 vaccine mandate
Another protest was held Thursday in Bay Shore to speak out against vaccination mandates for health care workers.
Hundreds of people stood in support with health care workers at South Shore University Hospital.
The demonstration followed one that was held at Stony Brook University Hospital on Wednesday.
The mandate requires hospital staff to get their first COVID-19 vaccine shot by Sept. 27, and those who don't will face disciplinary action.
"It's a shame that we're forced to take these vaccines. It should just be our choice. My medical records should not be people's. What they want it's not right," said Mark Quientana, who works at South Shore University Hospital.
Another rally will be held Friday at Good Samaritan Hospital in West Islip.
In a statement, Northwell Health said, "Northwell joined other health systems and organizations across the country in taking reasonable steps to ensure our staff are protected and available to care for the patients and communities we serve. We are proud that so far more than 81 percent of our workforce has been vaccinated against COVID-19. New York State also plans to implement a vaccine mandate on health care workers and we will comply with those guidelines when they go into effect next month. While we have received widespread support from patients, team members and the community for these vaccine requirements, we acknowledge that others remain uncertain about the vaccine. We are hopeful now that the FDA has fully approved the Pfizer-BioNtech COVID-19 vaccine for adults 16 and older our team members will be that much more confident in the safety and efficacy of these vaccines. While we respect everyone’s right to free speech and to have their voices heard in a peaceful and civil manner, we as health care professionals and members of the largest health care provider in New York State have a unique responsibility to protect the health of our patients and each other.“