As Santa Clara County began administering COVID-19 booster shots Friday, many people who oppose vaccination mandates staged a rally at San Jose City Hall.
They are opposed to a looming deadline for all San Jose city employees to get vaccinated. They stressed that they’re not anti-vaxxers, but they want people to have a choice.
There was no formal program, though a statewide group critical of the vaccine called Children’s Health Defense took part.
San Jose wants city workers vaccinated by Sept. 30 and is negotiating with unions, including police and firefighters.
One firefighter said he's reluctant to get vaccinated.
"When we respond to emergencies, we’re always wearing N-95 masks, and it’s virtually impossible to transmit or contract the coronavirus," the firefighter, identified only as Samuel, said.
Samuel said he's willing to lose his job over the vaccine requirement.
"Absolutely. It’s against my moral principles," he said.
Former teacher Hartman Laupati said he did quit his job.
"For me personally, I’ve been injured in the past with certain vaccines," he said.
While the rally was happening, the De Paul Health Center in Morgan Hill was offering booster shots to those 65 and older and others with a special health condition, as well as people who work around COVID-19 patients.
"Some very obvious examples would be health care workers working in environments where they are interacting with hospitalized patients with COVID," Dr. Jennifer Tong with the Santa Clara County Public Health Department said.
Tong would like people who are unvaccinated to reconsider.
"Of the people who’ve been hospitalized with COVID and who have died of COVID in the last several months, they’re almost exclusively unvaccinated," she said.