Nurses union launches campaign targeting unvaccinated, unboosted Rhode Islanders

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PROVIDENCE, RI (WPRI) – The union that represents more than 7,000 nurses and healthcare professionals statewide is urging all unvaccinated Rhode Islanders to get the COVID-19 shot if they don’t have it. not already done.

United Nurses and Allied Professionals (UNAP) Local 5098 launched a campaign on Thursday that encourages everyone to protect themselves and others by getting fully vaccinated and strengthening themselves against the virus.

The campaign, according to UNAP, includes several video interviews with nurses who have worked on the frontlines of the pandemic over the past two years.

(The story continues below the video.)

UNAP President Lynn Blais said the campaign is designed to educate Rhode Islanders about the emotional and physical toll this pandemic has taken on healthcare professionals.

“As the union representing frontline healthcare workers, we believe it’s important for us to help tell the stories of the people we represent, so that the people of Rhode Island can hear it firsthand. hand,” Blais said. “We hope to help unvaccinated and unboosted Rhode Islanders understand that the impact of not receiving the vaccine and/or booster goes far beyond their own self-interest.”

“The majority of COVID patients in our emergency rooms and intensive care units are unvaccinated and this impacts the ability of our hospitals to provide quality care,” she continued. “This has exacerbated the staff shortage which was already at crisis levels even before the pandemic. The end result is that unvaccinated people continue to be sick and occupy hospital beds, Rhode Islanders with other medical issues cannot get the care they need and deserve, and our frontline caregivers bear the brunt of it.

(The story continues below the video.)

Rhode Island hospitals have been dealing with a surge in COVID-19 patients for months, likely related to the omicron variant, due to major industry-wide staffing shortages.

The situation has become so dire that President Joe Biden has deployed two military medical teams to the two largest hospitals in the state to provide much-needed assistance.

But the medical teams are not a permanent solution and will only help for the next few weeks.

That’s why UNAP hopes these videos will encourage Rhode Islanders to do their part to stop the spread of COVID-19.

“While there are many actions that hospitals and the state can take to tinker with, the only real way to solve this immediate crisis is to get more people vaccinated and stimulated to reduce the number of admissions,” Blais said. “No one understands the devastating toll that COVID-19 has taken more than nurses and medical professionals…A person who gets vaccinated not only protects themselves, but they also protect their fellow Rhode Islanders, including workers in frontline healthcare.

(The story continues below the video.)

Video interviews will be released to the Rhode Island media market, including television and social media. These interviews can also be viewed in their entirety by clicking here »

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