At least 1,700 health care workers in San Diego County have filed for Covid vaccine mandate exemptions after Biden required all hospital employees to get their shots
- At least 1,700 healthcare workers in San Diego County have asked for COVID-19 vaccine mandate exemptions due to religious reasons
- It comes after President Joe Biden announced a new series of mandates including a requirement that all medical employees get vaccinated last week
- Hospital executives say most of the religious exemption requests cite concerns about stem cells
- None of the three Covid vaccines – Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna or Johnson & Johnson – approved in the U.S. contained aborted fetal cells
At least 1,700 medical workers in San Diego County have filed for COVID-19 vaccine mandate exemptions.
Last week, President Joe Biden announced a new series of mandates including a requirement that all health care employees get vaccinated against the virus.
However, the White House said that Americans will be allowed to request an exemption on ‘narrow and specific’ religious grounds.
A new survey conducted by the San Diego Union-Tribune found that thousands of workers in the county are asking that they be excluded from the mandate for religious reasons.
No major denomination opposes vaccines, but religious exemption claims are on the rise across the U.S. as more healthcare workers say they don’t want to be forced to get the shot.
At least 1,700 healthcare workers in San Diego County have asked for COVID-19 vaccine mandate exemptions due to religious reasons. Pictured: Occupational Health Nurse Maureen Finnegan (left) gives Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine shot to Dr Heather Pierce, a pediatric hospitalist at Rady Children’s Hospital in San Diego, December 2020
It comes after President Joe Biden announced a new series of mandates including a requirement that all medical employees get vaccinated last week (above)
The Union-Tribune reached out to medical providers across the state and asked how many religious exemption request they received from employees.
Sharp HealthCare, the largest health system in the county, said it received more than 700 requests.
UC San Diego Health told the newspaper it has received 610 exemption requests and Scripps Health says it has received more than 400.
That means at least 1,710 requests have been made out of the 53,000 workers employed by the three health systems.
Palomar Health, a much smaller health system with 4,200 staff members, says just 22 requests have been filed.
Neither Kaiser Permanente San Diego nor Rady Children’s Hospital-San Diego responded to the Union-Tribune’s request for figures.
Brett McClain, executive vice president and chief operating officer of Sharp Healthcare, said most of the request cite stem cells.
‘I’d say 90-plus percent of our religious exemptions are citing Christian reasons around the stem cells,’ McClain told the newspaper.
‘The rest are along the lines of: “I’m in control of my body.”‘
None of the three Covid vaccines – Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna or Johnson & Johnson – approved in the U.S. contained aborted fetal cells
However, fetal cell lines, which are laboratory-grown cells based on aborted fetal cells that were collected in the 1970s and 1980s, were used for research and development of the shots.
The cells are cultured, allowing them to grow for many years, and have been used to create vaccines for several diseases such as hepatitis A, rubella and rabies.
Malia Wylie, a medical assistant in an orthopedics department of a San Diego hospital, told the newspaper that she just received a religious exemption.
‘In my religion, what my conscience tells me is to go forth the way I would like to have my body as a temple,’ she said.
‘I don’t believe in the fetal cells that they have made these vaccines with. The ingredients, I don’t fall in line with them.
Wylie told the Union-Tribune that she identifies as a non-denominational Christian.
She declined to provide the name of the church she attends regularly but said officials at her church support the decision.