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ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. – Another public protest was held Thursday against a COVID-19 vaccination mandate for hospital workers. 

This one caused a backup on I-270 in west St. Louis County as two large banners and several American flags were displayed on the overpass near Manchester Road.

Protesters waved to drivers as they stood next to a sign saying, “Mercy Fires Heroes,” “Exemptions Denied,” and another sign saying, “” 

This was the second I-270 protest against Mercy Healthcare which is requiring employees to have a COVID vaccination. The deadline was Sept. 30. 

“Nurses and other health care workers are not being given autonomy over their own bodies even though we are presenting science with our exemptions,” registered nurse Leta Woodard said.

“Exemptions are being denied and those who are getting the exemptions are being punished by going through wearing N-95 masks and or having to do the nasal pharyngeal PCR testing.”

Mercy says the majority of its workers are compliant with the vaccine mandate and employees can receive an exemption for religious or medical reasons.

Mercy released a statement saying, “While mercy respects differences of opinion about the COVID-19 vaccine and co-workers’ right to assemble and make their voices heard, mercy’s position remains unchanged.”