Health care workers gather at Civic Plaza to protest vaccine mandate

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Hundreds gathered at Civic Plaza Wednesday to protest the state’s vaccine mandate for health care workers. Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham issued the order last Wednesday.

Melanie Rubin from New Mexico Freedom Alliance said this is not a matter of whether people should or should not get vaccinated.

"Our healthcare workers, vaccinated and unvaccinated, are coming together to advocate for bodily sovereignty and medical choice,” she said.

Protesters argued that it is not the government’s place to make a person’s medical choices.

However, there are some existing vaccines already required for healthcare workers like MMR, mumps and measles.

“I’m not a doctor, I’m not a virologist, I’m not an immunologist,” Rubin said. “What we know is that these vaccines are requiring informed consent."

Nora Meyers Sackett, the governor’s press secretary, sent KOB 4 a statement saying, in part:

"New Mexico hospitals in both urban and rural communities are rapidly approaching crisis standards of care because of unvaccinated New Mexicans spreading a highly infectious and incredibly dangerous virus despite the widespread availability and efficacy of vaccines. Vaccines are required in certain high-risk settings, right now, because anything less is irresponsible and will lead to sickness and potentially death, needless death, and the governor and her administration have been consistent throughout this pandemic in acting on her commitment to limit and prevent needless sickness and death."

She also said any hospital workers who do not want to be vaccinated, do not have to resign. They have the option of submitting a form for medical or religious exemptions. That information is available here.