Judge allows unvaccinated healthcare workers in New York to apply for religious COVID shot exemption

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A federal decide has granted a preliminary injunction that can enable New York well being care workers to apply for religious exemptions to the state COVID-19 vaccine mandate.




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US District Judge David Hurd made the ruling on Tuesday after 17 Catholic and Baptist well being care workers sued the state final month, saying they objected to being pressured to take a vaccine that used ‘fetal cell traces’ from ‘procured abortions’.



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The order prohibits the New York State Department of Health from interfering with religious exemptions or taking disciplinary motion towards workers who’ve sought or obtained them. 

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Gov. Kathy Hochul, responding to the order, stated she backs the vaccine mandate, whose unique deadline was September 27, with the state’s 450,000 medical and care employees anticipated to have acquired no less than one vaccine dose by that date. 



‘My duty as Governor is to defend the folks of this state, and requiring well being care workers to get vaccinated accomplishes that. I stand behind this mandate, and I’ll combat this determination in court docket to maintain New Yorkers secure,’ she wrote in a press release.

US District Judge David Hurd (pictured) has granted a preliminary injunction that will allow New York health care workers to apply for religious exemptions to the state's COVID-19 vaccine mandate

US District Judge David Hurd (pictured) has granted a preliminary injunction that can enable New York well being care workers to apply for religious exemptions to the state’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate

According to the injunction, which was obtained by CNN, the state well being division is ‘barred from interfering in any method with the granting of religious exemptions from COVID-19 vaccination going ahead, or with the operation of exemptions already granted.’ 

The group can be prohibited from taking any motion on licenses, certifications, residency or different skilled standing for workers who search or have obtained religious exemptions to the vaccine mandate. 

Christopher Ferrara, the lead counsel for plaintiffs in the case applauded the decide’s ruling.

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‘With this determination the court docket rightly acknowledged that yesterday’s ‘entrance line heroes’ in coping with COVID can not abruptly be handled as disease-carrying villains and kicked to the curb by the command of a state well being forms,’ he stated in a press release obtained by the news outlet. 

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The state well being division on Aug. 26 ordered healthcare professionals to be vaccinated towards coronavirus by Sept. 27. The order didn’t enable for the customary religious exemptions. 

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul issued a statement Tuesday arguing in saying she backs the vaccine mandate

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul issued a press release Tuesday arguing in saying she backs the vaccine mandate

Gov. Kathy Hochul said: 'My responsibility as Governor is to protect the people of this state, and requiring health care workers to get vaccinated accomplishes that. I stand behind this mandate, and I will fight this decision in court to keep New Yorkers safe'

Gov. Kathy Hochul stated: ‘My duty as Governor is to defend the folks of this state, and requiring well being care workers to get vaccinated accomplishes that. I stand behind this mandate, and I’ll combat this determination in court docket to maintain New Yorkers secure’

The plan was challenged by a bunch of 17 healthcare workers — all Christians and lots of of whom had been unnamed medical doctors, residents and nurses — who stated they opposed COVID-19 vaccines as a result of some had been developed from cell traces which had been initially taken from aborted fetuses. 

Figures launched earlier this week confirmed that 92 per cent of NY hospital employees had acquired no less than one COVID vaccine dose.  

Dr. Elizabeth Rausch-Phung, medical director of the Bureau of Immunization on the New York State Department of Health, confirmed the declare in an affidavit.  

‘In sum, whereas not one of the FDA authorised Covid-19 vaccines comprise any fetal cells, fetal cell traces had been solely ‘used in testing throughout analysis and growth of the mRNA vaccines [Moderna or Pzifer], and through manufacturing of the Johnson and Johnson [Janssen] Vaccine,” Rausch-Phung said. 

The staff additionally argued that by not granting medical exemptions, the state and healthcare corporations had been treating these with religious objections to vaccines much less favorably, violating the U.S. Constitution’s equal safety clause.  

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Hurd beforehand ordered, on Sept. 20, that healthcare corporations couldn’t deny requests for religious exemptions till he had dominated on the request for an injunction. 

Now, he has granted the preliminary inunction, noting that it’s a momentary measure permitting the plaintiffs to proceed to argue their case.

He claims the query isn’t whether or not the workers are entitled to religious exemptions however however whether or not or not the state vaccination mandated conflicts with their ‘federally protected proper to search a religious lodging’ from their employers.

However, the state entities mandating the vaccine argue that well being care workers have to be vaccinated in order to management the continued unfold of COVID-19, particularly because the Delta variant is on the rise. 

As of Oct. 11, New York has had 2,460,907 constructive circumstances of coronavirus.

In a tweet updating residents on the state’s pandemic response, Hochul shared a 2.48 p.c positivity charge.

She famous that there have been 2,098 hospitalizations and 30 new deaths reported by healthcare services.

The governor additionally shared that 85.1 p.c of grownup New Yorkers had acquired no less than one dose of the COVID vaccine and that 72.2 p.c of New Yorkers had been totally vaccinated. 

As of Oct. 11, New York has had 2,460,907 positive cases of coronavirus. In an Oct. 11 tweet updating residents on the state's pandemic response, Gov. Hochul shared that there were 2,098 hospitalizations and 30 new deaths reported by healthcare facilities

As of Oct. 11, New York has had 2,460,907 constructive circumstances of coronavirus. In an Oct. 11 tweet updating residents on the state’s pandemic response, Gov. Hochul shared that there have been 2,098 hospitalizations and 30 new deaths reported by healthcare services

The governor also shared that 85.1 percent of adult New Yorkers had received at least one dose of the COVID vaccine and that 72.2 percent of New Yorkers were fully vaccinated

The governor additionally shared that 85.1 p.c of grownup New Yorkers had acquired no less than one dose of the COVID vaccine and that 72.2 p.c of New Yorkers had been totally vaccinated

Meanwhile, vaccine mandates have grow to be a contentious challenge all over the world, with some debating whether or not they are often refused on the grounds of religious exemptions.  

Pope Francis was vaccinated in January and has advocated for Roman Catholics to get the jab. 

The Vatican has additionally stated that it considers it morally acceptable for Catholics to use vaccines, even those who use stem cell traces from aborted fetuses in their analysis.  

Last month, leaders of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America introduced that whereas some parishioners could have medical causes for abstaining from the vaccine, ‘there isn’t any exemption in the Orthodox Church for Her devoted from any vaccination for religious causes’.

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The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints urged constituents in August to get vaccinated in a press release saying: ‘To present private safety from such extreme infections, we urge people to be vaccinated. Available vaccines have confirmed to be each secure and efficient.’

According to Vanderbilt University Medical Center, there are just a few sects of Christianity which have an objection to vaccination. They embody: Dutch Reformed Congregations and religion therapeutic denominations resembling Faith Tabernacle, Church of the First Born, Faith Assembly, End Time Ministries, and Church of Christ, Scientist.

Additionally, Hinduism, Islam, Jainism, Judaism and Scientology leaders have all issued assist of the COVID vaccines.



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