Hundreds rally at Michigan Capitol against vaccine mandates

Michigan COVID death toll nears 20K

FILE - In this Feb. 25, 2021, file photo, vials for the Moderna and Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines are displayed on a tray at a clinic set up by the New Hampshire National Guard in the parking lot of Exeter, N.H., High School. An untold number of Americans have managed to get COVID-19 booster shots even though the U.S. government hasn't approved them. They're doing so by taking advantage of the nations vaccine surplus and loose tracking of those who have been fully vaccinated. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa, File) (Charles Krupa, Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

LANSING, Mich. – Hundreds of people gathered outside the Michigan State Capitol on Friday to protest COVID-19 vaccine mandates.

Carrying signs with slogans such as “Jab or Job? Wrong!” and “Let me call my shots,” the demonstrators heard speakers criticize government officials and urge their audience to contact elected representatives to express their opposition.

“We’re here today to fight for individuals’ rights to choose — that’s all — in the employment area, in the student area, in the schools, in the universities . . . or wherever else it is mandated,” said Ron Armstrong, president for Stand Up Michigan, one of the organizers of the rally.

Read: Michigan coronavirus cases up to 910,500; Death toll now at 19,951

Nearly 59% of the state’s population over the age of 12 has received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, according to Friday data from the state health department. Michigan has reported 910,500 confirmed cases of the virus and 19,950 deaths.

Universities requiring vaccinations include the University of Michigan, Michigan State University and Wayne State University. Hospital systems doing so include Beaumont Health, Spectrum Health, the Henry Ford Health System, Ascension Health and Trinity Health.

Read more: Protests held across Metro Detroit over vaccine mandate for Henry Ford hospital employees

Read even more: University of Michigan: All students, faculty, staff must be vaccinated by Aug. 30

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has maintained the COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective. The CDC also has said that people who have already recovered from COVID-19 should still get vaccinated.

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