Protest speakers

People listen in August 2021 in Temple to one of the speakers at the protest of vaccine mandates for Baylor Scott & White employees.

Resistance to a COVID-19 vaccine mandate remains at Baylor Scott & White Medical Center-Temple as a new deadline is set.

The health care provider extended its deadline for employees to get vaccinated until Nov. 15 on Monday, with its previous mandate having expired earlier this month. Employees at the provider need to either become fully vaccinated or receive an exemption.

Some employees at the provider have said that those who are against getting the vaccine, but are not able to get an exemption, have been backed into a corner.

Susannah Barker, an operating room nurse at the Temple provider, said earlier this month that she did not think people should be forced to get a vaccine they don’t want.

“It’s a mandate, and I don’t think we, as free people, should be told what to put into our bodies,” Barker said. “And then, if we didn’t do what the system is telling us, we would lose our jobs. That is just not right.”

While many have either received an exemption to the vaccine or chosen to get the shot, some plan to defy the order even if it means getting fired.

Deke Jones, spokesman for the provider, said Baylor Scott & White has had about 99 percent of its entire workforce in compliance since Oct. 13.

Jones said the provider is committed to protecting patients, employees and surrounding communities through its decision to get everyone vaccinated. He said there are millions of patients who depend on the provider to be able to deliver safe and quality care.

For staff members that are still unsure about the vaccine, Jones said the provider has several education opportunities and a navigator team to help people make informed decisions.

“We are focused on closing the gap,” Jones said. “We continue offering employees the opportunity to consult one-on-one with a COVID-19 Vaccine Employee Health Nurse Navigator in a (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) compliant manner to answer any questions or concerns they may have about getting vaccinated.”