About 200 people with bold and colorful homemade signs showed up Thursday afternoon near the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium campus in Anchorage to protests the forced Covid-19 vaccinations of employees.
Several of them said they would be losing their jobs in October, when the deadline for getting the vaccine was in full effect. One woman works for an airlines and was there to support the medical workers, saying she fears her company will be next to mandate vaccines.
One woman holding a sign so her face could not be seen by her employer said she has a medical exemption because she reacts badly to the flu shot and gets a type of paralysis, and she said that ANTHC will not give her an exemption.
Both ANTHC and Southcentral Foundation have enacted the “jab or no job” policy. A shortage of medical workers in Alaska has already begun to create problems in the health care sector.
ANTHC and Southcentral employ more than 5,000 people.
Whether employers can force employees to get vaccinated is not settled law. But in June, a Texas judge ruled that a hospital can mandate the Covid-19 vaccine to all employees, and since then the tactic by employers has spread across the nation.
Providence Hospital in Anchorage has said it is only encouraging its staff to be vaccinated.