Milwaukee Hospital Staff Must Reapply For Vaccine Exemption

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Employees of a Milwaukee-based health care provider who cited religious reasons for opting out of a mandated coronavirus vaccination are now required to receive a shot or reapply for an exemption.

The previous exemption has expired for impacted staff at Froedtert Health. The health care provider says the move is because of the availability of a protein-based vaccination called Novavax. Froedtert says the option eliminates the conflicts caused by mRNA-based vaccines, like Moderna or Pfizer, because it doesn’t use fetal cell lines for development.

Employees have the opportunity to reapply for exemptions.

Taylor Green, who has 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 against her religious beliefs.

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

Green emailed the hospital quoting Bible verses, claiming the contents of the COVID-19 vaccines are against her religion, but Froedtert denied a continuing exemption.

Froedtert says the latest move affects less than 1% of its staff.

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This story was first published Sept. 22, 2022. It was updated Sept. 26, 2022, to correct that Froedtert Hospital said while current religious exemptions expired, the health care provider will continue to allow valid medical and religious exemptions if impacted employees reapply after learning their exemptions are no longer valid.