King's Lynn vaccination protesters meet in The Walks
Some 170 people attended the bandstand in The Walks in King's Lynn this morning to protest against the mandatory vaccinations for NHS workers from West Norfolk
In attendance were dental staff, NHS workers from West Norfolk, doctors, health and mental health staff and carers.
The gathering has been arranged in collaboration between Pro Choice and Stand in the Park and organiser Peter Young, an IT worker in Lynn said: "Why should we lose out jobs? Why is this vaccination mandatory?"
He addressed the group from the bandstand encouraging people to speak from the stage and said: "Any NHS staff facing the loss of their job are encouraged to share their point of view."
The attendees meeting every Sunday at the band stand who do not agree that the vaccination should be mandatory and ultimately could lose their job if they don't, has grown in size.
Mr Young said: "There are loads of NHS staff here and that is fantastic.
Bartosz Kozlowski who works for the East of England Ambulance Service Trust took the stand and said: "I basically want to say I work for the ambulance service which is a job I love.
"It would be very sad to lose it. I am fighting for freedom of choice for my kids."
"It is great all these people are here to support freedom of choice and what goes in to our bodies."
Iva Abreu, a dental practice nurse said: "We want to make aware to everyone local that we should have a choice, not told to do it.
"We shouldn't lose our jobs because someone said we have to have the vaccine.
"What's going to happen with people with dental problems. Who will look after the elderly people if carers lose their jobs."
Claire, a mental health nurse and health worker said: "I will be losing my job in April and they have said that is my choice because I am not taking a vaccine.
"Coercion is persuading to do something through threats or force."
Mr Young said to the gathering: "You're not here to hear from me you are here to hear from these guys.
"These guys are facing the loss of their jobs without any choices about what they can put in their bodies.
"There are lots of people here from healthcare and the NHS. It's time to make a stand and raise awareness. You don't want your local hospital to lose hundreds of staff. "
Philomena Bailey spoke and said: "If I don't have a vaccine by February 3 I will be dismissed by April. We never needed it before or last year. It has to be an informed choice and it is not.
"I retired and returned to the ward that I love. So be it if I lose my job.
"I'm fighting for my children and grandchildren to have choice to what they have put in their bodies.
"There will be less choice and before we know it there will be no choice.
"All we ever wanted is choice. We are strong together, we will fight this."
Dr Elizabeth Bradshaw is a GP at RAF Marham. She said: "I have been a GP for 15 years and for two years at RAF Marham. I am disappointed at the loss of experience clinicians and ancillary staff who will be dismissed in one fail swoop.
"I am prepared to lose my job over this."
Mr Young said: "This all ends when we say no. We need to be one with each other.
"We need to keep the conversation going."
Marriana Visan is a dentist who trained in Romania, has practiced for 30 years and lives in Norwich. She said: "I am for the freedom, my freedom, my choice, my consent.
"I want to be able to treat my patients, I don't want to be kicked out. We have been wearing PPE, masks, aprons and we have never put any staff in danger.
"I am at risk of losing my job. Where will the people with pain go - Boris Johnson? I am very angry."
Suraya Ani, from Together Dental, in Downham, said: "In 2020 1,000 dentists left the NHS and numbers are rising. There is no incentive to work in the NHS, it is more pressurised, no pay rises, more and more patients and hitting targets.
"When dentists are leaving, whoever is left on the NHS has to take the burden.
"Vaccines are to protect ourselves but even with the vaccine people can still spread the disease."
Iryna Smaridge is a specialist dental nurse in Lynn and she said: "Since Covid regulations have been in place we have been advised to wear masks.
"PPE protected us throughout and none of us got it despite not being vaccinated. PPE has protected us so far. With the vaccinations there could be side effects.
"We are put under risk to treat people but vaccination doesn't protect it from spreading."
Jennifer is a healthcare assistant at the QEH and she said: "By having my first jab I was pushed into it and it made my health a lot worse for having the first jab.
"I feel bullied and questioned why I haven't had it. I feel like I am alone there.
"Groups grab me, how do they know I am not vaccinated, have they read my medical notes? If I don't have this I'll be dismissed. It is constant pressure.
" I had my hepatitis jab and I've complied with every rule in the book apart from this. I sit on my own in the canteen. I feel like I am an outcast."
Health Secretary Sajid Javid in announcing the policy said patients must be the first priority.
He said: “This is all about patient safety, we know vaccines work, we know that they reduce the risk of you being infected, so it reduces the spread of an infection.”
The latest figures for the deaths from people who have died within 28 days of being diagnosed with Covid at the QEH stands at 537 since the pandemic began. The hospital has apologised for a number of people it says undoubtedly caught Covid while on its wards.
Across the UK the death figure stands at 175,000.