Eddy County residents protest healthcare worker mandated vaccines

Eddy County healthcare worker Vanessa Harvey and private citizen Selah Perkins were among a throng of citizens who stood outside Artesia General Hospital on Wednesday to protest a state rule mandating healthcare workers get the COVID-19 vaccination.

On Aug. 17, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham ordered health care workers, teachers and other staff to be fully vaccinated against the virus unless they qualify for an exemption.

Protestors in Artesia showed solidarity with fellow protestors in Las Cruces and Albuquerque.

Harvey and Perkins say getting the vaccine should be a choice.

“I think people should decide,” Harvey said.

Harvey, who is contracted to provide speech language services for Artesia General Hospital, said she mostly works with patients outside of the hospital setting.

She said most of her clients have received the vaccine.

“Look at the data, educate yourself, talk to your caregiver,” Harvey advised. “I think there are people who benefit from having the shot. The sickest people we’re seeing didn’t have the shot. They also have other reasons why they are so sick.”