Unvaccinated facing mounting pressure to get vaccinated or lose their job

Local News

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — The FDA approval of the Pfizer Vaccine has many more companies considering a vaccine requirement. Two of the largest employers in South Dakota, Citibank and Sanford Health are requiring most of their employees to get vaccinated, and some other businesses are following that lead.

44-percent of eligible South Dakotans have avoided getting vaccinated against COVID-19, and like others around the country who are unvaccinated, their reasons vary.

“No one forces people to take care of their health in other situations. No one forces you to work out; no one forces you to eat healthy,” said Jay Lima a vaccine opponent From California.

“I shouldn’t have to be forced to take something that my conscience tells me isn’t good for me,” said Ari Goldberg, a vaccine opponent from California.

Most cite a lack of trust. Now some risk losing their jobs.

“What a tough decision to make if you really are contemplating leaving your job versus getting the vaccine,” said Dr. Mathew Stanley.

For those who are feeling the stress of choosing between keeping your career and getting the vaccine.. Avera Psychiatrist, Dr. Stanley offers this advice.

“So I would want to explore the reasons they are convinced they should not get the vaccine or won’t get the vaccine and see if there is any opportunity for us to strengthen their desire to get it,” said Stanley. “Certainly keeping your job is a reason to desire to get it, so are there others?”

Sanford is one of the companies that’s decided it is in the best interests of employees to require vaccinations.

“You are going to see this virus, sooner or later you are going to get to see it.”

Dr. Jeremy Cauwels is Sanford’s Chief Physician.

“Now you’ve got a choice, you can see it in a vaccine which is a totally safe way to see the virus, you can form an immune response so your body is ready, you can do the training ahead of time, to you can test your immune system and you can go ahead and take your chances with the Covid virus as it gets smarter, you can take on the smartest version of it and see how you do,” said Dr. Cauwels.

Cauwels urges people to talk with their doctor about their concerns.

On the job front, new hires may be facing the same decision. A growing number of companies are requiring new employees to be vaccinated before they can even start.

A Citibank spokesperson tells KELOLAND news that Citigroup Employees in corporate offices in New York, Chicago, Boston, Washington, and Philadelphia will be required to be vaccinated before returning to work in September. So far Citibank employees in South Dakota are not impacted by the requirement and many continue to work from home.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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