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Cleveland Clinic employees protest against vaccine requirements

Posted at 6:11 PM, Nov 26, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-26 20:00:53-05

STUART, Fla. — A group of healthcare workers on the Treasure Coast are protesting against vaccine requirements in the workplace.

The demonstration took place Friday afternoon at the intersection of Federal Highway and NW Wright Boulevard.

Nurses and healthcare workers who work at the Cleveland Clinic, or other medical practices, and even some nursing students are making their voices heard against the COVID-19 vaccine requirements from their employer.

Some of them had signs that read “Forced vaccine is battery and heroes to zeros.”

Another sign read “Unconstitutional harassment --- blackmail --- and intimidation fraud.”

Cleveland Clinic is federally regulated by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

These federal mandates indicate that healthcare workers must be fully vaccinated or granted an exemption at hospitals regulated by CMS.

However, these demonstrators feel they should have the freedom of choice when it comes to their medical decisions.

“I just think that I go into work everyday supporting my patients medical choices, I have the same right,” said Taylor Harward, a nurse at Cleveland Clinic North. “And, it’s either I get something that I do believe in, or I lose my job. So, I’m losing my job as a six-month-old nurse.”

“I don’t believe that getting the shot, that they haven’t done enough research on,” said nurse Angela Vanhulzeo. “It does not prevent COVID. It does not, we don’t know in 10 years what it’s going to do to your body.”

“It just unbelievable and unconstitutional that in this day of age, 2021, they are willing to take our freedoms away from us. If they take this medical freedom away from us, where we can choose what we can do for our own body, what’s next.”

Cleveland Clinic Florida released a statement to WPTV that reads:

“We understand that there are caregivers in our health system and in hospitals across the U.S. who oppose the COVID-19 vaccination requirements announced by the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). These federal mandates, however, are clear that healthcare workers must be fully vaccinated or granted an exemption at hospitals regulated by CMS. 

As a health system, failure to comply with the CMS vaccination requirements could have a direct and extraordinary impact on our ability to care for patients, including potentially limiting critical health services we can offer.

We value each of our caregivers and are proud that the majority of our caregivers are already vaccinated. We are strongly encouraging those who are not yet vaccinated to receive their vaccine as quickly as possible so they can continue helping us care for our community.”