San Diego health care providers have reported over 1,700 requests for exemptions from the vaccine requirement — primarily citing religious objections. This comes as the vaccine mandate requiring California health care workers to be vaccinated is set to go into effect September 30.
Sharp HealthCare, San Diego’s largest health system, reported that it had received more than 700 religious exemption requests, with UC San Diego Health receiving 610 and Scripps Health more than 400. Those numbers represent about 3% of each organization’s total workforce, about 16,000 to 22,000 workers.
“We’re also getting our share of people saying, ‘My body is my temple,’” said Dr. Ghazala Sharieff, corporate senior vice president and chief medical officer at Scripps, according to LA Times.
Many exception requests indicate that the “ingredients” of the vaccine does not fall in line with their religious beliefs. Many health care works cite the use of stem cells in the vaccine as a main concern, even though the vaccines do not contain any stem cell material.
McClain added that his concern is with the group of roughly 1,300 employees who have yet to prove their vaccination status and have not filed any sort of exemption.
“Based on the state’s orders, after that, their employment will be terminated,” McClain said. “That will be a difficult situation for sure because we are already at a difficult point with staffing in a lot of different ways.”