Rochester group to march against a COVID-19 vaccine mandate

Monroe County

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — A Rochester City Council member joined with a community group to protest mandatory COVID vaccinations in a press conference Thursday morning.

There is no current vaccine mandate in place. Even so, Council member Jose Peo and members with Save Rochester say they want to decided what goes in their bodies, and do not want to be pushed or mandated to take the vaccine.

They are holding an anti-mandatory vaccination march on Friday focused on freedom of choice.

The group has concerns about vaccine safety and long-term effects, mainly due to the speed with which the vaccine arrived. The march came about after a bill was introduced into the state assembly calling for a mandate.

The New York State Bar Association also recommended that the state consider a mandate once the vaccine is deemed safe, effective, and necessary.

When asked about a possible vaccine mandate two weeks ago, Monroe County Public Health Commissioner Dr. Michael Mendoza said a vaccine mandate is not being considered by the county, and is highly unlikely. 

However, the group of anti-vaccine demonstrators has doubts. “The fact that this is even being talked about it incredibly unnerving. But it’s not just that, it’s the coercion,” Peo said.

“As a black mom and a black woman in America we have so many rights that are being stripped away. And I’m not against vaccine per se, but we should not be forced or mandated to inject anything in our bodies,” march organizer Antonia Wynter said.

The group wants to see more education about the vaccine and a guarantee that a possible mandate is off the table.

It is important to note that President-elect Joe Biden has said he will not implement a vaccine mandate on the national level. 

That anti-mandatory vaccination marched is set for this Friday at noon starting downtown at the liberty pole.

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