Resistance to the Covid vaccine are asking for religious exemptions. But what matters?
For many skeptics, the resistance tends to be based not on the formal teachings of an established religious leader, but on an ad hoc mixture of online conspiracies and disinformation, conservative media, and conversations with friends and members. like-minded family.
“People who have already made up their minds are now looking for ways to continue exempting themselves from the Covid vaccine,” said Joshua Williams, pediatrician and assistant professor of pediatrics at the University of Colorado.
Dr. Williams’ pre-pandemic research on school vaccination requirements suggests that most of the objections described as religious to vaccines are actually a matter of personal and secular beliefs. After the state of Vermont removed its vaccine exemption for personal non-religious beliefs in 2016, the proportion of kindergarten students with a religious exemption increased from 0.5% to 3.7%, which suggests that most parents who took advantage of religious exemptions did so only when others were not available.
Apple, Microsoft, Tyson Foods and Disney are among the major private employers who announced this summer that they will require at least some of their workers to be vaccinated. Since the Food and Drug Administration granted full approval of Pfizer-BioNTech’s coronavirus vaccine on August 23, others are quickly following.
As the warrants take effect and the Delta variant increases in many parts of the country, some former skeptics are subject to gunfire. The Biden administration said about 14 million people in the United States received their first injection in August, about 4 million more than in July.
But among other things, the desperation to avoid vaccines is increasing. In Paducah, Kentucky, Drew Kirk and his wife, whom he requested anonymity, were strategizing on how to use a religious exemption at the hospital she works for, which recently announced a warrant for vaccination for employees.
“There are many reasons we don’t want to take it, and faith is one of them,” Kirk said. Their concerns include a perception that the vaccine was rushed, issues with what they read about the vaccine’s remote link to abortion, and similarities to the biblical ‘mark of the beast’, a symbol associated with the vaccine. ‘Antichrist. They are also not too worried about the virus itself.