Those at risk of losing their jobs for not getting the COVID-19 vaccine and their supporters lined an intersection in downtown Snohomish Thursday evening to protest vaccine mandates. (Isabella Breda / The Herald)

Those at risk of losing their jobs for not getting the COVID-19 vaccine and their supporters lined an intersection in downtown Snohomish Thursday evening to protest vaccine mandates. (Isabella Breda / The Herald)

Amid surging cases, nurses and others protest vax mandates

About 30 people gathered in Snohomish to demonstrate against vaccination requirements.

SNOHOMISH — In the middle of what local health officials consider a fifth wave of COVID-19 cases, local health care workers and other members of the community lined the intersection of Second Street and Avenue D Thursday evening to protest vaccine mandates.

Many of the roughly 30 protesters, most of whom were unmasked, carried signs. Messages ranged from “Our bodies our choice” to “Masks are child abuse” and “No jab no job is UNAMERICAN.” Some wore Trump hats and carried 13-star and thin-blue-line flags.

On Monday, Gov. Jay Inslee announced that state employees and private health care workers would be required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by mid-October — or they could lose their jobs. On Thursday, state Superintendent of Public Instruction Chris Reykdal asked Inslee for a similar mandate for educators.

Despite the state exceeding the 500,000-case mark on Wednesday, with Snohomish County accounting for over 40,000, discussion of vaccine mandates ignited some locals who are opposed to the COVID-19 shots.

Within the crowd opposing vaccine mandates was a private school administrator and a nursing school student. Those present cited various reasons for coming out to the intersection to wave signs.

Some said they feel that mandating vaccines is a violation of their personal liberties.

One protester, Eric Marchant, who was wearing a shirt that said “I’m just here to kill commies,” said he does not believe the mandate is for public health.

“Not to come across as a crazy conspiracy theorist, but at the end of the day, people have to use their own minds for their own health, and the government coming down and telling us we need to do A, B or C — it makes no sense,” he said.

Vaccine mandates are not new in Washington.

Any child attending school, preschool or child care in Washington is required by law to be fully immunized against Chickenpox, Diphtheria, German measles, Hepatitis B, Mumps, Pneumococcal disease, Polio, Tetanus, Whooping Cough and Measles.

Other protesters cited fear regarding the safety of the vaccines.

Both clinical and real-world data have demonstrated that the benefit — reducing the risk of a severe case of COVID-19 — outweighs the vaccines’ risks, including rare cases of anaphylaxis and Guillain-Barré syndrome, a rare disorder in which the body’s immune system attacks nerves.

According to July reporting by The New York Times, about 100 cases of Guillain-Barré were reported among nearly 13 million shots.

Kris Binder, a nurse at Overlake Medical Center who helped organize the protest, said she does not feel comfortable taking a vaccine that is being distributed under the Food and Drug Administration’s emergency use authorization and which she feels is experimental. However, she said, she will continue to wear a mask at work.

Protecting patients from disease — “that’s the moral thing to do,” she said. “I’m a nurse.”

A study published in early June revealed that fully or partially vaccinated people are less likely to spread the virus to others.

While the Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines went through clinical trials in 2020, coronavirus vaccines are actually over a decade in the making.

The vaccines are currently the best defense against COVID-19, according to a recent statement from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“This study shows you are twice as likely to get infected again if you are unvaccinated,” said Dr. Rochelle Walensky in the statement. “Getting the vaccine is the best way to protect yourself and others around you, especially as the more contagious Delta variant spreads around the country.”

Isabella Breda: 425-339-3192; isabella.breda@heraldnet.com. Twitter: @BredaIsabella.

Talk to us

More in Local News

Brian Holtzclaw (left) and Tim Schmitt.
Recount confirms Holtzclaw’s re-election to Mill Creek council

In Stanwood, a machine recount validated Tim Schmitt’s defeat of City Councilwoman Judy Williams.

No one was injured in a fire that caused more than $200,000 damage to a commercial building in Edmonds early Wednesday morning. (South County Fire)
Fire damages former Edmonds Family Fun Center building

There were no injuries and the cause was not immediately clear.

This undated photo, provided by the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency, Wednesday, Dec. 8, 2021, shows U.S. Army Cpl. Benjamin Bazzell, 18, of Seymour, Conn., killed during the Korean War, who has been identified. The remains of Bazzell and other soldiers were turned over by North Korea to the U.S. in 2018 following a meeting between then-President Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un. (Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency via AP)
Remains of Everett woman’s brother killed in Korean War identified

The Army corporal went missing in action during the conflict in 1950.

Riaz Khan speaks at the groundbreaking at the site of the Islamic Center of Mukilteo that he helped spearhead over the last seven years on Saturday, March 6, 2021 in Mukilteo, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
All faiths invited to Saturday meeting for Mukilteo mosque

Construction is to begin in April. Pledges of $800,000 are needed to complete the project.

William Talbott II pleads his innocence before a judge sentences him to life with out parole at the Snohomish County Courthouse on Wednesday, July 24, 2019 in Everett, Wash. A Snohomish County judge sentenced William Talbott II to life in prison without parole, for murdering a young Canadian couple in 1987. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
Cold-case murder conviction reversed due to juror’s bias

William Talbott, the world’s first convicted forensic genealogy defendant, was accused of killing a young Canadian couple in 1987.

Driver hits pedestrian on U.S. 2 trestle near Lake Stevens

The man, 56, was walking westbound near the Highway 204 interchange when he tried to cross the lanes.

Man identified after fatal fall from Arlington cell tower

Michael Vasquez, 24, of Las Vegas, fell about 140 feet while working Saturday afternoon.

A map of alternative routes and stations for the Sound Transit light rail extension from Lynnwood to Everett. (Sound Transit)
City of Everett outlines light rail priorities for 2037

Per a letter to Sound Transit, the mayor and planning director say they want four stations open as soon as possible.

Dr Chris Spitters (center), Interim Health Officer, makes makes his address Monday evening during a Special Meeting of the Snohomish Health District Board of Health at the Administration Builiding in Everett on March 2, 2020.  (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
Chris Spitters, Snohomish County’s chief health officer, to step down

The physician who has been the official voice of the pandemic here says his departure is not work-related.

Most Read