Shenandoah Valley women choose not to get vaccinated, here is why

Shenandoah Valley women choose not to get vaccinated, here is why


While everyone around the world is looking for the vaccine against the deadly coronavirus, the situation in the Shenandoah Valley is slightly different.

The nurses’ employer, Valley Health, the parent company of Winchester Medical Center, had given the nurses an ultimatum: get the injection or threaten to quit.

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While everyone around the world is looking for the vaccine against the deadly coronavirus, the situation in the Shenandoah Valley is slightly different.

The nurses’ employer, Valley Health, the parent company of Winchester Medical Center, had given the nurses an ultimatum: get the injection or threaten to quit.

The women responded by standing on the corner of a busy four-way intersection at the entrance to Winchester Medical Center, protesting the hospital’s latest coronavirus vaccine mandate.

Some were on quasi-strike, skipping a work day, standing on the side of the road in the scorching heat, holding up signs saying “NO FORCED VACCINATION”.

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The Valley Health announced a vaccination mandate for its 6,300 employees at its six locations on July 19, while offering religious and medical exemptions for eligible applicants.

For the majority of Valley Health employees, the policy wasn’t an issue with 75 percent being fully vaccinated, the company said.

However, in a region where vaccination rates are lower than the entire state, Valley Health’s mandate sparked an angry community debate with numerous protests outside Valley Health’s hospitals at Front Royal and Winchester.

There have been requests from unvaccinated individuals asking for local government intervention to end the mandate.

In Winchester, 57 percent of the adult population is fully vaccinated, compared to 66 percent nationwide.

In contrast, in neighboring rural Warren County, only 46 percent of the adult population is fully vaccinated.

Those standing outside Winchester Hospital said they weighed the risks and still viewed the vaccine as riskier despite more than 620,000 deaths from COVID-19 in the US.

Some mentioned rare but serious side effects, including myocarditis related to the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines, and blood clots related to Johnson & Johnson.

People also pointed out misinformation about fertility problems.

Others said they were betting on natural immunity after contracting the virus last year.

Brittany Watson, a behavioral nurse at Winchester Hospital, was quoted by the Washington Post as saying, “We’re not ‘anti-Vax'”.

She added, “We’ve made all of the vaccines you get when you grow up – but they’ve been around for decades. But there is so much propaganda going on with this one.

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