In order to obtain a religious exemption from the Covid-19 vaccine at a hospital system in Arkansas, staff are also required to “swear off” common medicines like Tylenol, Tums and Preparation H.
Conway Regional Health System said it noticed an uptick in vaccine exemption requests that “cited the use of fetal cell lines in the development and testing of the vaccines,” according to ARS Technica.
Matt Troup, president and CEO of Conway Regional Health System, said: “This was significantly disproportionate to what we’ve seen with the influenza vaccine.”
He continued: “Thus, we provided a religious attestation form for those individuals requesting a religious exemption.” This attestation includes a list of about 30 common medicines that “fall into the same category as the COVID-19 vaccine in their use of fetal cell lines.”
ARS Technica reported that some of the common medicines on the list include Tylenol, Pepto Bismol, aspirin, Tums, Lipitor, Senokot, Motrin, ibuprofen, Maalox, Ex-Lax, Benadryl, Sudafed, albuterol, Preparation H, MMR vaccine, Claritin, Zoloft, Prilosec OTC, and azithromycin.
Employees then must attest they “truthfully acknowledge and affirm that my sincerely held religious belief is consistent and true”.
Troup said that the hospital wants to make sure that staff are “sincere” in their beliefs and that the hospital wants to “educate staff who might have requested an exemption without understanding the full scope of how fetal cells are used in testing and development in common medicines.”
Employees that don’t sign the form are only granted provisional exemptions. Troup said 5% of the hospital’s staff has filed for such an exemption.
“A lot of this, I believe, is a hesitancy about the vaccine, and so that’s a separate issue than a religious exemption,” he concluded.