Friday, September 29, 2023

What Religion Does Not Allow The Flu Shot

Must read

The Challenge With Religious Exemptions

No, the flu shot will not give you the flu or allow you to pass it on to someone else

The Christian argument for religious exemptions follows two tracks typically: first, that the vaccine shots at some point in their production used aborted fetal cell lines. The second argument cites a Bible verse that claims that the human body is Gods temple of the Holy Spirit and argues that for that reason receiving a vaccine would be a sin.

Johnson & Johnson did use a replicated fetal cell line in the production of its vaccine, but Pfizer and Moderna did not. They did, however, use replicated fetal cell lines to test the effectiveness of their vaccines. Those cell lines, however, were isolated from two fetuses in 1973 and 1985 and then replicated numerous times over the ensuing decades. They are commonly used in the pharmaceutical and biotech industries to test and create medications.

Arthur Caplan, a bioethics professor at New York University Langone Medical Center, said that people who oppose the coronavirus on religious grounds should also oppose numerous medications and vaccines developed over the past 30 to 40 years.

Theres a lot more drugs, vaccines and medicines you should not be taking and protesting if youre really worried about these fetal cells being used, Caplan said. I dont think most of this is sincere. I think its just a way to get out of having to take a vaccine.

But there are many groups that are taking it seriously and giving individuals support and advice on ways to obtain a religious exemption or even challenge a vaccination mandate.

Faith And The Covid Vaccine: Which Religions Have Doctrinal Reasons For Being Unvaccinated

There is a lot of discussion about religious reasons for not getting the COVID-19 vaccine, but in reality, there are actually very few religions that have documented, doctrinal reasons for not believing in immunizations.

Despite the fact that it has been dominating national news, evangelical Christianity isnt one of them.

Still, some Christians and other people of faith are citing their religion as a reason why they wont get the COVID-19 vaccine.

White evangelical Protestants are the only religious group that didn’t reach a majority when asked in a Public Religion Research Institute and Interfaith Youth Core poll if they believe they should get vaccinated because it “helps protect everyone” and “is a way to live out the religious principle of loving my neighbors.”

Only 43% of white evangelical Protestants agreed with those statements, compared to 56% of Black Protestants and 61% of Hispanic Protestants, according to the survey.

One way white evangelical Protestants say their faith is against the vaccine is by talking of eternal life, like Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves did in late August.

When you believe in eternal life when you believe that living on this earth is but a blip on the screen then you dont have to be so scared of things, Reeves said.

That belief, that God controls everything, is a core belief of evangelicals, said PRRI Director of Research Natalie Jackson.

What Happens If You Object To A Vaccine Required By Your Employer

Just because you have a valid medical disability or theological objection to receiving a coronavirus vaccine doesn’t mean your employer has to let you continue working under the same conditions you’ve been used to. Companies are required to make “reasonable accommodations,” which could include allowing the employee to work remotely or take a leave of absence. President Biden’s mandate allows workers to present a negative COVID-19 test once a week to continue their employment, though they may have to pay for those tests themselves.

If you don’t have an ADA-recognized medical condition and can’t convince authorities of valid religious grounds for refusing the COVID-19 vaccine, your employer has the right to terminate your employment. And it’s doubtful you’d be able to claim unemployment benefits because you were fired “for cause.”

Some companies are also considering imposing fines on unvaccinated workers refusing to get the shot. This could include raising health care costs, withholding raises and restricting access to workplace amenities. For instance, the NBA says it won’t pay unvaccinated players who miss games.

Read Also: What Does The Flu Vaccine Do

In Search Of A Religious Reason To Avoid Covid

The UN adopted an international right to freedom of religion more than a half-century ago. It also said that right can be limited when its necessary to protect public health.

One reason given for religious exemption requests is the use of fetal cells derived from terminated pregnancies to develop vaccines. But experts say this results from a misunderstanding of the actual science involved. They also note that truly avoiding anything developed using fetal cells would mean abstaining from aspirin and cold medication.

That didnt stop one American pastor from pointing to the fetal cell issue as a reason to avoid vaccines. He died of COVID-19 in September.

A recent Ipsos survey for the World Economic Forum suggests that 8 out 10 workers in the world back workplace COVID-19 vaccine mandates, and only one in 10 say they’d try to find a way to avoid them. Many people take a dim view of citing faith to do so one survey of Canadians found that 79% didnt think theres a legitimate religious reason to seek an exemption.

That hasnt prevented the aggrieved from trying. About 5% of all employees of the state of Oregon in the US filed requests for exemptions to its COVID-19 vaccine mandate, and 90% of them were religious.

Vaccine Support From Religious Groups

The Latest: NY ends religious exemptions to vaccine ...

One study of vaccine-preventable disease outbreaks among religious groups found that “while the church was the common link among cases, there was no formal advice regarding vaccination from the church before the outbreak. Instead, vaccine refusal was attributed to a combination of personal religious beliefs and safety concerns among a subgroup of church members.”

Most religions offer no formal advice regarding vaccination. Rather, many religions have clear positions in support of vaccination including:

Also Check: This Years Flu Shot For Over 65

A Quick Q & A On Religious Exemptions

In Washington, the exemption approval process is largely left up to individual departments to approve exemptions and provide accommodations, and it could look different for each group.

However, some of the same guidelines apply to state workers, educators and health care workers, who all fall under state mandates.

Do people seeking a religious exemption need a religious leader to sign off on it?

Not necessarily. In Washington the process to receive a religious exemption from the COVID-19 vaccine is determined by the individual human resources department of the agency, school district or health care facility. However, each has specific guidelines and sample forms they encourage departments to use.

The initial request form offered on the governor’s website simply asks the employee to assert that they have “a sincerely held religious belief or religious conviction” that prevents them from receiving a vaccine. It also asks them to affirm that they have not received any vaccine or medicine as an adult.

It then states the employer will likely need to collect further information, such as explaining further how the vaccine conflicts with their beliefs, how long they’ve had the beliefs and if they have objections to all other vaccines.

Do people seeking a religious exemption have to explain their religious beliefs?

Guidance from the governor’s office encourages follow-up questions.

Who approves a religious exemption?

Each accommodation is determined by the individual department.

Are There Religious Exemptions To Vaccines

Although vaccines are required to attend most schools in the United States, with the availability of exemptions, many kids attend without being vaccinated or fully vaccinated. Exemption based on religion is one of several reasons parents can claim to avoid giving their children vaccines in certain states.

And of course, parents can always choose to not send their kids to school. Children who are home-schooled usually do not have to meet the same vaccine requirements as children who attend public or private schools.

You May Like: When Was The Flu Vaccine Made

Who Opposes The Vaccine Mandates

In November, Senate Republicans led by Sen. Roger Marshall of Kansas sent a letter to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, a Democrat, saying they rejected all efforts to implement and enforce a COVID-19 vaccine mandate.”We agree that countless Americans have benefitted from the protection offered by the COVID-19 vaccines,” the letter read, in part. “Nevertheless, the decision whether to be vaccinated against COVID-19 is a highly personal one that should never be forced upon individuals by the federal government.”

Some unions — especially those representing police officers, firefighters and emergency workers — have pushed back against vaccine requirements, as well. Over the summer, Chicago police union president John Catanzara urged members to defy the city’s mandate, comparing it to Nazis forcing Jews to step into gas chambers.

Even some Google employees have opposed large-scale vaccine mandates: A manifesto viewed by CNBC and signed by more than 600 workers from the Mountain View, California-based tech giant called on employees to “oppose the mandate as a matter of principle.”

Few mainstream American religions oppose vaccination, though. The chief exceptions are the Church of Christ, Scientist and the Dutch Reformed Church.

Justice Department Asks High Court To Allow Vaccine Mandate

Religious exemptions for state vaccine mandate abruptly revoked | FOX 13 Seattle


WASHINGTON The Biden administration late Thursday asked the Supreme Court to block lower court orders that are keeping President Joe Bidens vaccine mandate for health care workers from going into effect in about half of the states.

The administration asked the justices to allow the urgently needed health and safety measure to take effect before the winter spike in COVID-19 cases worsens further.

It said the requirement will save hundreds or even thousands of lives each month.

The administrations request comes a day after the New Orleans-based 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals lifted a nationwide ban on the mandate. The court instead allowed the mandate to remain blocked in 14 states that had collectively sued in federal court in Louisiana. That action altered a Nov. 30 ruling by U.S. District Judge Terry Doughty, who originally applied his order nationwide.

A different appeals court, the St. Louis-based 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, has declined to disturb a lower court order blocking the mandate in 10 other states.

The Biden administration asked the justices to allow the mandate to take effect in the 24 states covered by those two courts decisions. A federal judge in Texas granted an injunction Wednesday that applies only to that state.

One other appeals court, the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, allowed the mandate to remain in place, saying Secretary of Health and Human Services Xavier Becerra has the authority to require the vaccines.

Also Check: Osom Rapid Flu Test Instructions

Are Vaccines Against My Religion

It may seem like a strange question, but it is one that legislators and parents are often left to grapple with. There are viral memes, posts, or articles claiming that certain ingredients in vaccines may violate certain religious traditions. Parents often hear misinformation that makes them feel confused about how to honor their religious faith and legislators who support the freedom of religion can feel conflicted between protecting public health and allowing a diversity of religious beliefs. Everyone needs clarity in this situation!

Since we created this page the new COVID-19 vaccines has become available. In this update, we have gathered some links added below about how different religious organizations have directed their adherents with regard to this specific vaccine. We try whenever possible to rely on the websites run by religious organizations themselves, but we link to news coverage when that isnt possible.

Three: A Decision Is Made

Eventually, the employer will have to make a decision. If the religious exemption is accepted, they will have to provide ‘reasonable accommodations’ if possible to the employee. That reasonable accommodation could include regular testing or working from home if possible.

“If you’re able to show that your belief is sincere,” he said. “then it’s a conversation about how to accommodate that religious belief.”

If the employer decides that the belief is insincere, they can choose to reject the religious exemption request. If the employee continues to refuse the shot, this could lead to termination.

Also Check: Goodrx Coupon For Flu Shot

Where Religious Freedom Fits Into Exemptions Mandates

As more mandates come out, so do the questions of legality, specifically on violating religious freedom.

If any cases are brought to state or federal court, determining the legality of mandates and exemption responses will be based on numerous factors, said Shaakirrah Sanders, a University of Idaho law professor.

Religious freedom comes from two places in the First Amendment: the establishment clause, which says the government cannot establish a religion or programs that exclude religions, and the exercise clause, which says the government cant do anything to prevent free exercise of religion.

Exemptions to certain laws because of religion have been established both by statute and by case law from the U.S. Supreme Court.

But you dont get an exemption in every case, Sanders said.

On vaccine mandates, the government may argue theyre not forcing anyone to change their religious beliefs, only forcing them to change their behavior, Sanders said.

For any lawsuits that come out of these mandates, the court will likely take into account what alternatives to vaccine the mandate offers, such as testing, an individuals consistency on vaccines whether their specific job can be accommodated in any way and the state of emergency brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.

If a state or federal mandate offers a testing option instead of receiving the vaccine, for example, a court may decide that it does not violate a persons religious freedom because there are options, Sanders said.

Flu Shots Religious Beliefs And Employee Rights: Navigating The Complex Intersection

Flu shots courtesy of best buy check your homepage thanks ...

Can a health care provider force all employees to get flu shots, even over an individual’s religious or medical objection? Generally, the answer is no. But employers should review their rights and their employees’ rights to successfully navigate such issues.

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits employers from discriminating against employees on the basis of their religion. Employers must accommodate religious observances and practices, absent undue hardship. Their duty to evaluate accommodation requests is often triggered when an employee has a sincere religious belief that conflicts with a mandatory flu vaccination policy.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission uses a very broad definition of “religion.” It includes not only organized religions but also religious beliefs that are “new, uncommon, not part of formal church or sect, only subscribed to by a small number of people or that seem illogical or unreasonable to others,” as well as non-theistic moral or ethical beliefs. Believe it or not, a federal court recently confirmed that veganism, in some circumstances, can constitute a religious belief that could exempt an employee from a flu shot requirement. So, an employee’s refusal to get a flu shot may not be based on religion at first glance, but the courts might view it that way. Employers should, therefore, ordinarily assume that an employee’s request for religious accommodation is based on a sincerely held religious belief.

Recommended Reading: High Dose Flu Vaccine Recommendations

Free To Read Not Free To Produce

The Connecticut Mirror is a nonprofit newsroom. 90% of our revenue comes from people like you. If you value our reporting please consider making a donation. You’ll enjoy reading CT Mirror even more knowing you helped make it happen.


Kasturi Pananjadyis CT Mirrors data reporter. She is a May 2020 graduate of the Columbia Journalism Schools masters program in data journalism and holds a degree in comparative literature from Brown University, where she was editor-in-chief of the student newspaper. Prior to joining CT Mirror, Kasturi interned for publications in India.

Jenna Carlessois CT Mirrors Health Reporter, focusing on health access, affordability, quality, equity and disparities, social determinants of health, health system planning, infrastructure, processes, information systems, and other health policy. Before joining CT Mirror Jenna was a reporter at The Hartford Courant for 10 years, where she consistently won statewide and regional awards. Jenna has a Master of Science degree in Interactive Media from Quinnipiac University and a Bachelor or Arts degree in Journalism from Grand Valley State University.

Does The Civil Rights Act Apply To People Who Oppose Vaccines On Religious Grounds

It’s still unclear whether workers will be able to defy the vaccine mandate because of their religious beliefs — it’s possible decisions will be made on a case-by-case basis.

Even within religious groups, there are conflicting messages: Pope Francis is encouraging Catholics to get vaccinated, but Rev. Timothy Broglio, Archbishop for the US Armed Forces said Catholic troops can refuse the COVID-19 vaccine if it violates their conscience.

In October, the Supreme Court refused to block Maine’s vaccine mandate, which makes no provision for religious exemptions.

The following month, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit upheld New York State’s vaccine requirement, which also fails to provide for religious exemptions. The state’s regulation had faced a suit by healthcare workers claiming it violated their First Amendment rights and the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Also Check: Is The Flu Shot Good To Get

Letters From Clergy Not The Answer

Nationally, demand for religious exemptions has surged. Some workforces have sought them in large numbers, including about 2,600 Los Angeles Police Department employees and more than 3,800 Washington state workers, according to the Associated Press.

And while letters from clergy are not required in the exemption process, some leaders online are offering to attest to the faithfulness of people they have never met in exchange for a donation. One pastor and Republican Senate candidate in Oklahoma said his form has been downloaded tens of thousands of times, the Washington Post reported.

Certain people of faith are morally opposed to the use of fetal cell lines from abortions that occurred decades ago in the development or testing of some vaccines.

For others, the issue is rooted more in politics than in theology, some faith leaders argue.

Its up to employers to decide whether workers’ beliefs are sincerely held, per Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act and what documentation people must provide to prove it.

You can’t just say, Oh, God doesn’t want me to get the vaccine, said Nola J. Hitchcock Cross of Cross Law Firm in Milwaukee.

Employers are asking people to elaborate: whats your belief exactly and why doesnt it allow you to get the vaccine?

All major religions do approve of the COVID-19 vaccine, and even the Christian Science Church which generally favors prayer over medical treatment has not disavowed it.

More articles

Popular Articles