HILL AIR FORCE BASE, Utah (ABC4) – Dozens of people have gathered outside Hill Air Force Base in protest of COVID-19 vaccine mandates for government employees.
Members of the U.S. military and other government employees are now required to get the COVID-19 vaccine.
Nearly 100 people have been spotted outside Hill Air Force Base, near 600 South, protesting the mandate. The intersection is typically a busy one in the mornings as base workers head in for work.
SLIDESHOW: Group gathers to protest vaccine mandate for servicemembers, government employees
In the slideshow above, you can see protestors holding American flags on the corners of the intersection. Those waving the flags could be heard chanting “my body, my choice.”
“I’m standing here for liberty as a whole,” Joe Clark, a sub-contracted government employee tells ABC4’s Curtis Booker. He says he shouldn’t have to choose between a vaccine mandate and his career. “I think everyone should have the choice to make decisions for themselves. Your career should not be put in contingent on that decision.”
Earlier this fall, the U.S. Department of Defense issued an urgent requirement for servicemembers to get the COVID-19 vaccine after the Pfizer vaccine received full approval from the FDA. Those who are not fully vaccinated by the deadline could be terminated.
Some government employees can get a medical or religious exemption from getting the COVID-19 vaccine. Still, some of the demonstrators tell ABC4 they do not feel the need to get the vaccine because they are already healthy. The Utah Department of Health says that being healthy does not mean you are immune to COVID-19.
Utah was one of three GOP-led states warned by the U.S. Labor Department over their lack of certain COVID-19 rules. The Associated Press reports the threat comes because these states have not adopted rules to protect health care workers outlined by the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Intermountain Healthcare, one of the largest employers in the state of Utah, recently announced a vaccine requirement for its healthcare workers, just weeks after it said it would not institute such a mandate.