Milwaukee hospital ends religious exemption for vaccine



MILWAUKEE (AP) — Employees of a Milwaukee-based health care provider who cite religious reasons for opting out of a mandatory coronavirus vaccination must now receive an injection.

The religious exemption expired this week for staff at Froedtert Health. The healthcare provider said it was ending the exemption due to the availability of a protein-based vaccine called Novavax.

Froedtert said the option eliminates conflicts caused by mRNA-based vaccines, like Moderna or Pfizer, because it doesn’t use fetal cell lines for development.

Employees with existing exemptions had until Wednesday to receive their first dose of Novavax or be considered “voluntarily resigned.”

Taylor Green, who worked as a histology technician treating skin cancer patients at Froedtert Hospital, has decided to quit her job.

Green, a member of the Universal Life Church, says Novavax’s use of moth cells to create a protein is still contrary to his religious beliefs.

“It was going to be my job forever, and it’s really hard on the team and everyone was really shocked that it happened,” Green told WITI-TV.

Affected employees were given the opportunity to request an exemption after learning that the previous exemption on file was no longer valid.

Green emailed the hospital citing Bible verses, saying the contents of COVID-19 vaccines are against his religion, but Froedtert denied a continued exemption.

Froedtert says his decision affects less than 1% of his staff.

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