Protesters gather at Kettering Health, Miami Valley Hospital in response to vaccine requirements

Hundreds of protesters gathered outside Kettering Health Network in Miamisburg and Miami Valley Hospital in Dayton Wednesday to protest coronavirus vaccine requirements announced earlier this month.

Kettering Health, Premier Health and Dayton Children’s Hospital all announced that they would require the COVID-19 vaccine for employees last week.

Protesters outside of Miami Valley Hospital stood along South Main Street with American flags and signs.

Some of the people protesting at the hospital were also at a protested outside Kettering Health Network’s administrative building in the morning.

Many of the protesters at Kettering Health wearing their work clothes and held signs identifying themselves as health care workers.

Some signs read, “I call the shot, not you! American freedom” and “Heros [sic] yesterday jobless tomorrow?”

Protesters were lined up outside along Prestige Place. Many were not wearing face masks.

“I’m here because I don’t believe that we need to have a vaccine because there’s no proof that it works,” said Erica King.

When asked what’s next after the protest she said, “If they don’t change their mind they’re going to have to walk me out.”

In a company statement Kettering Health said its continuing to discuss future steps in the pandemic with workers.

“We fully respect the right of individuals to assemble and peacefully protest, and we continue to have productive conversations with our colleagues as we navigate this next phase of responding to the COVID-19 pandemic,” the statement read.

Another protester, Karyn Temple, said she doesn’t believe that nurses and other staff should face requirements that patients don’t have to adhere to.

“They have the right to choose we need the right to choose,” she said.

Isaiah Stearns was at the corner of state routes 741 and 725 protesting. He said employees should get in choice in getting vaccinated.

“I’m also here because I’m a Seventh Day Adventist and that forcing anybody to do anything goes directly against our beliefs,” he said.” So I am very disappointed in the leadership in Kettering Health Network. They are pushing something that goes contrary to our system and just people in general. I believe that they are not leaders. They are hypocrites.”

Kettering Health, Premier Health and Dayton Children’s Hospital all announced that they would require the COVID-19 vaccine for employees last week.

At Kettering Health, employees, medical staff, students and volunteers must be fully vaccinated by Oct. 4.

“We urge others in our community to get the COVID-19 vaccine, as it is our best tool in the fight against this virus,” Kettering Health said in a company statement. “Vaccination against COVID-19 protects you and everyone around you: your family, your friends, your community.”

Dayton Children’s staff must be fully vaccinated by Oct. 1 and Premier Health staff by Dec. 1.

Premier Health said in a statement that the system respects “the rights of all individuals, including employees, to protest peacefully and in ways that do not disrupt or distract from the provision of quality patient care.”

“Within Premier Health, we continue to have respectful conversations with each other about why vaccination against COVID-19 is vital to our delivery of quality care going forward.”

A similar protest was reported outside St. Elizabeth’s Hospital in northern Kentucky Wednesday morning. The hospital, as well as other major hospital groups in Cincinnati are also requiring the vaccine.