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Religious exemptions vs New York’s COVID vaccine mandate for healthcare workers

This week Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that healthcare workers are all required to get a Covid-19 vaccine by September by September 27 in New York State.

The only thing that will keep an employee from being required to get the vaccine is a religious or medical exemption, so some are asking, what constitutes a religious exemption?

The US National Library of Medicine has compiled the different reasons for different religions that may be considered religious reasons for avoiding a vaccine.


According to Catholicism, “The most morally questionable issue regarding vaccination in Catholicism is using cell lines derived from a voluntary aborted fetus.” This suggests that those types of vaccines should be avoided. Some vaccines that include cell lines are many live vaccines against Rubella, hepatitis, chicken pox, and smallpox.

Catholicism also appears to believe that in cases where alternatives aren’t available, the use of the existing vaccine is “morally acceptable in order to avoid serious risks for children and for the whole population.”

The Protestant view believes in individual freedom, which gives parents the right to decide whether their children should be vaccinated. Some believe the vaccine is interfering with divine providence and decline the vaccine on religious grounds that way.

Islamic views forbid specific foods to be used, like pig flesh, and other animals can only be used depending on how it is they’ve died. Because vaccines are important for medical purposes, vaccines with those types of animals could be used since it’s for medicine, not diet.


Modern Buddhists typically use vaccines to protect their own lives, but the teaching of Buddhism says if the vaccine is derived from any life form, similar to what Catholicism says, the use of the vaccine is up for debate.

Data shows that the number of religious exemptions for vaccines is increasing.

According to a press release from Los Angeles County, Covid-19 vaccines were made with the use of cell lines from fetal tissue, something the Catholic religion has said is a reason to not use the vaccine.

A press release from the California Catholic Conference has determined that the vaccine has been determined “morally acceptable.”

While it has been determined that religious and medical exemptions are the only way out of being mandated to get the vaccine, the religious reasons may appear confusing to some and clear to others.



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