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Nurse fired for refusing COVID-19 vaccine reflects as national emergency ends: 'It's frustrating to look back'

A New York nurse who lost her job because she refused to take the COVID-19 vaccine due to medical circumstances says it is “frustrating” looking back at her firing as the Biden administration marks an end to the health emergency. 

Jenna Viani-Pascale says she decided to forgo the coronavirus vaccine because she had suffered a stroke at 36-years-old. She was dismissed from her job after she was unable to get a medical exemption for her condition or take her case to court as lawyers were hesitant to take a stand. Now as President Biden signed a bill Monday to end the national emergency response to COVID-19, the nurse is re-living her ordeal. 

“That was really difficult,” Viani-Pascale told “The Story” on Thursday. “There was a lot of talk that could happen. I just didn’t think it actually would come to fruition. I did love my job. It was something that was really in me, in my heart. It was what I did my whole nursing career. So to get forced out was a huge life changing circumstance for me.” 


Mask mandate protester holds sign

A demonstrator holds a sign during a protest by New York City Fire Department union members, municipal workers and others, against the city’s COVID-19 vaccine mandates on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, in New York City, Oct. 28, 2021. REUTERS/Mike Segar/File Photo (REUTERS/Mike Segar/File Photo)

Viani-Pascale expressed frustration that medical professionals were not given an opportunity to make their own decision about taking the vaccine. 

“It is a heavy hand, especially now,” she told Fox News. “It’s frustrating to look back and see that they think they made an error and… there’s a lot of backlash about the back and forth with this. And you realize…people are quadruple vaccinated and they’re still getting COVID, they’re still passing COVID, and now it’s not really a thing.” 


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The nurse, who has since landed a job at a medical spa, said she “felt lost” after her firing. 

“I haven’t heard from my old job,” she said. “I haven’t been offered a position back. They’re still requiring it at the hospitals in New York. So, it’s just a very frustrating thing for somebody who really loved her job.” 

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