Protesters gather outside of MVHS to speak out against COVID-19 vaccine mandates

CENTERVILLE — Protesters gathered outside of Miami Valley Hospital South in Centerville to speak out against mandatory COVID-19 vaccines for employees.

People began gathering around 3:30 p.m. across from the hospital on Wilmington Pike.

Members of the “Ohio Says No” group told News Center 7 that this is their 26th protest in recent weeks and that their protests against vaccine mandates are part of a larger national effort to overturn them in all work places.

Similar protests have ramped up locally this week in response to the mandates announced by three of the major hospital networks in the Miami Valley including Kettering Health, Premier Health, and Dayton Children’s.

>> Premier Health, Kettering Health, Dayton Children’s to require COVID-19 vaccines for all employees

“We called them heroes last year and now we are threatening to take their jobs, so when you see the faces of these men and women and of their families, as in the Wednesday and previous Saturday protest, bringing kids with them, maybe it will hit home. Because the next group of people who could maybe be mandated could be you,” said Angil Corey, founder of Ohio Says No.

Questions were also raised during the protest about the safety and effectiveness of the vaccines by protesters.

Doctor John Corker, a physician and emergency medical specialist in the Miami Valley, spoke to News Center 7 on Friday about the safety of the vaccine.

“These vaccines have been proven safe and effective, and the more people that get vaccinated the quicker we get back to something reasonably resembling normal life,” Corker said.

Premier Health issued a statement Wednesday, saying they respect the right to protest peacefully but are committed to having additional conversations surrounding vaccination.

>> Protestors demonstrate in response to COVID-19 vaccine mandates by area health care networks

“We respect 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 Premier Health spokesperson said.

News Center 7 will update this story with new developments as they happen.