INDIANAPOLIS — On Saturday, hundreds of people gathered downtown at the canal demanding IU Health change its vaccine mandate.
Earlier this month, IU Health announced all its employees are required to be fully vaccinated by Sept. 1.
Shortly after, an online petition was started against the mandate. It now has more than 11,000 signatures.
The group includes IU Health employees, other health care workers and supporters—many who worry this mandate will cause a ripple effect.
“We should have the right to say no to the vaccine just like our patients have the right to say no, and I feel like they are taking the health care workers’ freedoms away from us,” said Laurie Tucker, IU Health medical assistant.
IU Health has said if employees don’t get the shot, they will lose their job.
“If you have the set date of Sept. 1 to lose us, you are going to lose a lot of employees all at once,” Tucker said..
IU Health told 13News about 61 percent of their 36,000 employees are already vaccinated.
Employees can apply for an exemption for medical or religious reasons, but some say that’s not enough.
“There are all kinds of income levels being affected. There are a lot of people who don’t have the ability to say no and are being forced to do things that they don’t want to do,” said Jennifer Fluhr, IU Health nurse.
IU Health is not the only health care provider requiring the vaccine for its staff. Community Health Network announced this week they will also do the same.