Demonstrating against vaccine mandates as Pfizer’s COVID shot gains FDA approval

The same day that the FDA gave its official approval to Pfizer’s COVID drug, dozens of people took to the streets in the South Sound to demonstrate against mandatory vaccines.

Among the protesters are state workers and health care employees, most of them knowing they could be tempting fate as vaccinations are required for many in their positions. Also among the crowd was a local politician supporting their cause. 

"It should be everybody’s right to choose," said Tayler Dennison. 

They say the choice they made on Monday is to make sure their voices are heard. 

"I think we need to make official stand now on the vaccine," said Shelly Osmond. 

Osmond says she has been outspoken about the COVID vaccines when they were approved only for emergency authorization. She still will not get one after the medicines have proven to be safe and effective. 

Freedom was on top of Ron Pittman’s mind on Monday. He stood waving a flag at the end of the march, waiting for the rest of the group to join him.

Pittman says he works for a state agency and knows if he doesn’t get an exemption or a vaccine he could be out of work. 

"I’m to the point now it’s more than the vaccine, it’s about rights," he said. "It’s not fair."

"I think we need to balance," said State Representative Cyndy Jacobsen.

Jacobsen says her constituents have been reaching her office in growing numbers, large enough numbers to compel a current lawmaker to join their demonstration.

"It is not reasonable for the government to require a medical procedure for employment," Jacobsen said. 

While some people are just beginning their path towards vaccination, others are looking for the second or third shots. Those demonstrating in Puyallup on Monday believe opting out of a new medicine is a solution that should be respected, too.

"We have a choice and a right to choose what we put inside our bodies," said Pittman.

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