Protesters gather in front of Los Rios Community College offices over COVID-19 vaccine mandate

Local News

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — A group of protesters gathered in front of the Los Rios Community College District’s office one day before the district will require all students and staff to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

“We believe in health freedom and health choice,” said Ryan Nix, a health services assistant at American River College. “Telling them that they can’t have jobs or an education unless you make their medical decisions.”

Nix organized today’s protest, but he’s also a district employee and knows that he may lose his job.

 “If you have not had an exemption approved then you will be subjected to disciplinary process that will probably result in your termination,” he explained.

Nix wants to be clear that some members of his group have gotten the vaccine and others have not, and that’s the point, they want the option to be able to choose.

But health professionals say vaccine mandates have been around for a while.

“With regards to these vaccine mandates, these are not new,” said pediatrician Dr. Lena Van Der List. “So, I have been mandated as a health care provider to make sure I’m updated with all my vaccinations before I care for your children.”

On top of that, doctors say it’s the best way to stop the spread.

“There have been 6.2 billion doses administered worldwide. You’re really not going to get much more safety data than that,” Dr. Vander List said.

No one from the district would respond to FOX40’s request for an interview, but the district’s website does say anyone who is not vaccinated will not be allowed on campus unless there’s a medical or religious exemption. The district’s website also says testing is not an option for those not wanting the vaccine.

Note: In a previous version of this story, Dr. Vander List said “There have been 2.6 billion doses administered worldwide.” The corrected number is 6.2 billion doses.

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