OMC employees protest vaccine mandate

(ABC 6 News) – Dozens of Olmsted Medical Center employees, including nurses, protested outside of the hospital because of vaccine mandates Friday afternoon.

The organizer of the protest, Andrea Possehl, says that Friday at 5 p.m. was the last chance for employees to get vaccinated before they are fired for not complying with the vaccine mandate put in place by OMC.

Dozens of nurses and other OMC employees stood outside on their breaks and after their shifts pushing for medical freedom.

Olmsted Medical Center says it reviews the requests for exemptions for medical and religious reasons. However, the employees ABC 6 News spoke with said their exemptions were denied.

"We’re standing out here just to show that we’re still fighting, we’re still supporting freedom of choice, we’re still supporting our patients who want to choose and we’re kind of paying tribute to the service that we’ve given to the organization so far," Possehl, a nurse at OMC, said.

Possehl said those at the protest were there to support those who were forced to get vaccinated because they had no other option in order to keep their jobs and provide for their families.

These nurses also laid out their scrubs on the sidewalk of OMC.

"It should never come down to this, it should never be you have to choose between a job and getting a shot. We’re gonna keep fighting for freedom of choice, trying to be the support and hopefully we can keep working in the career that we have worked so hard in so far, put so much into," Possehl said.

ABC 6 News has reached out to Olmsted Medical Center for comment but they have not responded. But, according to OMC’s website, approximately 90 percent of employees have been fully vaccinated as of Nov. 4. Soon, OMC will have 95 percent of staff vaccinated, which is in full compliance with the federal vaccination requirements for healthcare workers.

Some employees who are being fired said they have jobs lined up and they added they are not done being nurses.