Mayo Clinic protest

A group of around 60 people were seen gathered at the corner of 56th Street and Loop 101, near the clinic's Phoenix campus, holding signs and waving flags.

PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -- Former employees and others are speaking out about Mayo Clinic's vaccine mandate and gathered at the Phoenix campus on Tuesday evening to protest the requirement.

A group of around 60 people was seen gathered at the corner of 56th Street and Loop 101, holding signs and waving flags. The signs depicted their disagreement with the mandate. One sign read, "last year's heroes, this year's villains. Stop the mandates." Another read, "no jabs for jobs."

Brigette Brimhall is a former Mayo Clinic nurse who says she was terminated in late October by the center for choosing to opt-out of the vaccine requirement. "Well, I have been terminated. I've been an employee at Mayo Clinic for the last 18 years. I chose to not go through the declination process for the vaccine. I'm choosing to not get the vaccine. I've had natural immunity. I've had my antibodies checked every three months and I have been positive for the last year, so I have high levels of antibodies still," said Brimhall. "For me, I chose to not go through the declination process and because I'm non-compliant with that, I've been terminated."

Mayo Clinic required all employees to be fully vaccinated by Sept. 17 or complete a declination process to seek medical or religious exemption. Mayo Clinic posted in a statement back in July staff who declined to be vaccinated "must complete education modules and will be required to wear masks and socially distance when on campus."

Brimhall says the protest was an event for others to come together who share similar beliefs. She also added both vaccinated and unvaccinated people showed up at the protest. "This is just like-minded people getting together, just let everyone know we should have a choice. It should not be mandated for us to be vaccinated. We should be able to have a choice," explained Brimhall. "I understand what they're doing but it's still not right." 

Mayo Clinic issued a statement regarding the vaccine mandate.

Making COVID-19 vaccination a requirement to work at Mayo Clinic will help ensure we have a healthy workforce and that Mayo Clinic is a safe place to receive care — just as our patients expect. The Mayo Clinic enterprise staff vaccination rate for COVID-19 is at 88%. In consideration of the safety of our patients, staff, visitors and communities, Mayo Clinic is transitioning to the next phase of its COVID-19 vaccination program, with vaccination required to continue to work at Mayo Clinic. A review process will be available for staff to seek medical or religious exemptions to vaccination.

Staff may participate in social media and advocacy on their own behalf, in accordance with applicable Mayo Clinic policies.

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