Johnston UNC Health Care Workers Protest COVID Vaccination Mandate

Approximately 25 protesters gathered Sunday afternoon in front of Johnston UNC Health in Smithfield to protest a recent decision by hospital administrators making COVID vaccinations mandatory for all employees.  Hospital employees, staff from other hospitals, family and friends held signs to stand against the policy. The protest was peaceful and well-organized. 

UNC Health recently announced that employees working at all hospitals and clinics in the Triangle, including at Johnston Health in Clayton and Smithfield, will be required to receive the COVID-19 vaccine by Tuesday, Sept. 21, 2021. Employees can request medical or religious exemptions.

Hospital workers and their families protest the mandatory COVID vaccination policy Sunday, Aug. 1, 2021 in front of Johnston UNC Health in Smithfield. Contributed photo

Johnston Health has about 1,850 employees. That total increases to about 2,400 with contractors, community physicians, volunteers and others.

Alan Wolf, Director of News with UNC Health, said the percentage who have received their vaccine is not currently known. That’s due to several factors, including turnover and the fact that many received their vaccine in the community and have not reported to employee health. Johnston Health estimates about two-thirds have been vaccinated.

Johnston Health released the following statement Monday:

Since the pandemic began, UNC Health’s top priority has been keeping our patients and staff healthy and safe. That mission has led us to take every step possible to protect people, including securing PPE, expanding testing and enacting visitor restrictions.

We understand our decision to mandate vaccinations has disappointed some members of our team. We’ve had a greater number who are already vaccinated appreciative of the decision.

We believe that a mandatory vaccine program is in the best interest of public health and is essential for the safety of our patients, teammates and communities.

UNC Health is grateful for the hard work and sacrifices of our heroic health workers during the pandemic. This vaccine requirement is designed to provide a critical layer of protection for everyone. Current infection rates overwhelmingly are in unvaccinated people who are being infected with the Delta variant. Similarly, those hospitalized with the COVID-19 virus are more likely to be unvaccinated.

Another protest in planned today (Monday) at 6:00pm in front of the Johnston UNC Health campus in Clayton.      


  1. good for them. what happened to my body, my choice? this is a pathetic excuse to force something they themselves know nothing about on people WHO HAVE THE GOD GIVEN RIGHT TO DECIDE WHAT TO DO WITH THEIR BODIES! It’s not government or ceo’s decisions. what are they going to do when they lose 1/3 of their employees. this is a disgrace and should really open people’s eyes to question what this is really about.

  2. Like Bob said: 🇯🇲🎸🎙️🎶

    Get up, stand up! (Jah, Jah!)
    Stand up for your rights! (Oh-hoo!)
    Get up, stand up! (Get up, stand up!)
    Don’t give up the fight! (Life is your right!)
    Get up, stand up! (So we can’t give up the fight!)
    Stand up for your rights! (Lord, Lord!)
    Get up, stand up! (Keep on struggling on!)
    Don’t give up the fight! (Yeah!)

    • Absolutely!! The government and corporations should NEVER have the power to tell ANYONE what to do with their body. I’m just sitting back wait on the flood of law suits that will come following the firing of employees. My thing is you can get the vaccine and still contract the virus. I have first hand knowledge of this. Soooo what’s the point of a mandated vaccine when you can still caught and spread the virus? It’s nothing but a control tactic!!!

  3. The vaccine is just another reason for the government to put chips on us and control us. They want to spy on us all the time so don’t get the vaccine if you do they well track you and made you do stuff for them.

  4. Condition of employment. Suck it up and get a shot. Other people have bodies too, including a brain.

    • “I’m a registered nurse, BSN, case manager in Baltimore. Grass roots, boots on the ground.

      “There’s a lot of patients being injured. I’ve never seen anything like this. Since January I’ve experienced personally six deaths, and I’ve lost count of the injuries. And we’re not talking about typical adverse events, like fevers, chills, sore muscles…I’m talking about things like urinating clots of blood, paresthesia, gastroparesis, altered mental status, respiratory arrest, cardiac arrest, new onset seizures, new onset diabetes…I have patients who can’t walk anymore, patients who keep complaining that their feet and hands are burning, they forget where they are…I’ve just never seen anything like this in all my years of practicing medicine.

      “What I’m seeing now, as time goes by, is patients who were given the shot months ago, who are now showing up in the hospital, with equally strange and confusing events. Practitioners see this, their dissonance just flows, and they either ignore it, or they literally don’t know what to do with it. Every health care professional, working with patients across this country, has to see what’s going on.”

      “What else do I see on the ground? – a lot of great suffering that isn’t getting met with good care, because we have no idea what to do with these patients, who have been injured by, frankly, an experimental treatment, and there’s no protocol to treat them, there’s no information how to help them, and even breaking through the cognitive dissonance of physicians, to accept this patient has been vaccine injured, is a chasm. It’s a huge chasm.”

  5. What a bunch of SNOWFLAKES!!! Don’t like the job? Then quit! No one is forcing you to work there. This is AMERICA and we can choose to work where we want.

    • From what I have seen the SNOWFLAKES are the ones that give into what the government forces us to do. I personally don’t put much faith in the government or the vaccine. I applaud these people for taking a stand,

    • So people that have invested years into a job and training and a retirement suddenly have to quit because they don’t want to get a vaccine that isn’t even approved by the FDA? That isn’t even proved to be all that effective? They haven’t been made to get it before now so why change? Now if it was fully approved by the FDA and had the required testing to prove that it was relatively safe, because there are people dying from the vaccine, then I could see your “snowflake” argument; but these are medical professionals that don’t want to get the vaccine–that should say something. And I’m also willing to bet if it was a fully vetted vaccine none of them would have a problem getting it. Just food for thought.

  6. If I am sick and in the hospital . I don’t want anybody near me that does not have a shot.

    • From what I have seen, the “shot” isn’t working very well. I personally know 3 in the last 2 weeks that have been vaccinated and still contracted Covid. One was hospitalized.

  7. Healthcare workers showed up and did their job during the pandemic without “scientific protection “, we had to reuse PPE and work tirelessly!! As a RN it should remain my choice if I elect to participate in a clinical trial! How about they focus on citizens receiving public assistance that don’t even work?? No shot, no check?? That is the population that continues to be infected, not healthcare workers who have always been immunized with approved/tested/safe vaccines!

  8. If you don’t want the vaccine then don’t work there. You’ve still got a choice, and anyone who can’t see that is ignorant of the facts.

  9. For everyone saying go find another job or get the shot… good luck to you when all the healthcare employees do decide to quit cause the already short staffed hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, etc will be even worse and you won’t be able to get care for yourself! As well if they all get the shot and end up with severe reactions so they can no longer work where do you expect to get care? I think we should all be weary of anything experimental if healthcare workers are refusing to get it! As a former healthcare worker who knows Having to get the typical, safety tested shots is part of the job even if you don’t like it realizes this is different. This has not been tested, has a horrible track record of side effects, and very little protection from covid. It should be a choice since covid is 99.9% survivable and most these folks already have natural immunity from it by being exposed to it for the past 1.5years!

    • Don’t ask people who are using emotions to reply to understand the logic in your comment. They will argue to the death and they will never open their mind to the possibility of listening to another person’s point of view, even if you present facts to support your argument.

  10. When they come for you I hope these people remember and tell you to suck it up, find another job. These people were on the front lines when nothing was available, I don’t remember people lining up to help them or take their place. People were grateful for them. So soon we forget the great work, selective memories. We all see how it is.

  11. Apparently, “my body, my choice” only applies when you’re pro-abortion! What a bunch of HYPOCRITES! Also, these “vaccines” are made with materials from aborted babies and are EXPERIMENTAL! Can you explain why people I personally know who have gotten these shots are getting the virus?? They are not just getting a mild case, either. Some have been hospitalized with the virus, even though they got the shots! That’s a fact! No entity should EVER mandate an experimental, potentially dangerous and/or fatal shot! Not enough is known. Look up the other countries where the shots have turned out to be fatal for so many people, just within hours or days of the shots. Search for the truth and don’t rely on government for your health news! I will pray for these employees. They have an absolutely valid reason for protesting. How dare the health industry mandate experimental shots of crap to go into their employees! MY BODY, MY CHOICE!

  12. This is communism socialism! I can’t wait until Trump takes back the office from hiden once Mike and his cyber guys expose the fraud! I should be able to work anywhere any way I want!

  13. It says in the article that employees can request religious and medical exemptions. Personally, I think everyone should avoid the shot and open your minds to the truth. Fear is an illusion meant to enslave. Hopefully, you’ll all understand in time. Take care.

    • Yes they can request an exemption but the employer also has the right not to accept the exemption which is what is happening so these employees are out of luck and our hospitals will be severely understaffed.

  14. If the vaccine was doing it’s job and you took it you’re safe not showing faith in the vaccine to be worrying
    about the people who hasn’t gotten it .I’m putting my faith in my savior.

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