While reasons given for seeking exemptions vary, the vaccines’ remote link to fetuses aborted decades ago is often cited — lab-grown cell lines descended from those fetuses were used in testing and manufacturing processes. The vaccines do not contain fetal cells, however, and workers generally are seeking the exemptions without the backing of major denominations and prominent religious leaders.
But as the healthcare mandate takes effect, hospital leaders acknowledge that they see the exemptions as a way to retain staff at a time when resources are already stretched thin.
“Our position has been we would we want we want everyone vaccinated,” said Brock Slabach, chief operations officer for the National Rural Health Association. “But we also think that access to care is incredibly important.”
Similar stories abound across the country.
At the 25-bed Community Hospital in McCook, Nebraska, in the southwestern part of the state, about 20% of the 320 employees have not been vaccinated. About 35 applied for exemptions, and others are still deciding what to do. The hospital has rejected some requests that relied on specious religious reasoning.
“If it’s a complete, like, essay on the science behind why this shouldn’t be allowed, or a complete essay on