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Protestors speak out against COVID-19 vaccine mandates in Watertown Saturday

Published: Sep. 18, 2021 at 4:58 PM EDT
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WATERTOWN, New York (WWNY) - Get the shot, or lose your job. That’s an ultimatum dozens are protesting in the streets of Watertown Saturday.

Healthcare workers and their supporters came with signs, flags, and frustration toward the idea that they may lose their job or be forced to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

A mandate, which was made by the state back in August, would take effect September 27th. Meaning any unvaccinated hospital worker would be out of work.

The mandate has since gone to court after a group of healthcare workers sued and a judge in Utica temporarily blocked the rule.

For these protestors though, that’s not good enough.

“Its not blocked permanently, its only temporarily blocked. What I’d love to see is no mandate and its up to everybody for their personal choice,” said Kimberly Ososkalo who was protesting.

“I’m here because I’m supporting my sister who’s losing her job because she does not want to get the vaccine. I think there should be the option that if you want to get it, that’s perfectly fine. But if you don’t want to get it, that should be fine, too. We’re in America where we have the right to choose,” said protestor Stan Kubis.

This is the second time a group in Watertown has protested the mandate.

Last week, dozens stood in front of Samaritan Medical Center for the same cause.

New York State has until September 22 to respond to the lawsuit in federal court.

President Biden also announced a federal vaccine mandate for health care workers. There’s no word yet on when that mandate would take effect.

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