Learn More about States’ Vaccine Exemptions

May 28, 2021

States’ Vaccine Exemptions (google doc)

  • Only Medical Exemptions are allowed: New York, California, Maine, Mississippi, and West Virginia.  
    • If you are from these states and want a religious exemption, you should still be protected under the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which explicitly states that people cannot be discriminated against on the basis of their religion. 
    • In New York state, people over the age of 18 can request a religious exemption still. The state took this ability away for students under the age of 18. 
  • Religious Exemptions: Alabama, Alaska, Connecticut, Delaware,District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska,  Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia, Wyoming
  • Religious, Medical, and Personal Belief: Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Idaho, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Utah, Washington, Wisconsin  

The best bet for getting an exemption is most likely religious, especially in a public university. Considering, there are no major religions that prohibit vaccinations, the origins of this particular vaccination could be used for exemptions. The only major opposition I’ve been able to find among religious groups has been concerns about the ties to abortion. 

Abortion 

  • Christianity 
    • For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.  I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.  Psalm 139: 13-16
    •  “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.” Jeremiah 1:5
    •  Did not he (God) who made me in the womb make them? Did not the same one form us both within our mothers? Job 31:15
    • On you was I cast from my birth, and from my mother’s womb you have been my God . Psalm 22:10 
  • Catechism of the Catholic Church 
    • 2270 Human life must be respected and protected absolutely from the moment of conception. From the first moment of his existence, a human being must be recognized as having the rights of a person – among which is the inviolable right of every innocent being to life. 72
    • “The inalienable rights of the person must be recognized and respected by civil society and the political authority. These human rights depend neither on single individuals nor on parents; nor do they represent a concession made by society and the state; they belong to human nature and are inherent in the person by virtue of the creative act from which the person took his origin. Among such fundamental rights one should mention in this regard every human being’s right to life and physical integrity from the moment of conception until death.” 80
    • 2274 Since it must be treated from conception as a person, the embryo must be defended in its integrity, cared for, and healed, as far as possible, like any other human being.
  • Islam  
    •  Losers indeed are those who killed their children foolishly, due to their lack of knowledge, and prohibited what God has provided for them, and followed innovations attributed to GOD. They have gone astray; they are not guided.
    • You shall not kill any person – for GOD has made life sacred – except in the course of justice. If one is killed unjustly, then we give his heir authority to enforce justice. Thus, he shall not exceed the limits in avenging the murder; he will be helped.
    • You shall not kill your children (“Awlad”) due to fear of poverty. We provide for them, as well as for you. Killing them is a gross offense.
  • Judaism
    • “All major religions have their parochial and their universal aspects, and the problem of abortion is not a parochial one.  It is of universal morality, and it is neither a Catholic problem, nor a Jewish problem, nor a Protestant problem.  It involves the killing of a human being, an act forbidden by universal commandment.” -Former Chief Justice of the Rabbinical Court of America, Rabbi Marvin S. Antelman
    • The Talmud clarifies that an unborn fetus is “one of the LIVING limbs of the mother.” The Talmud also forbids self-mutilation in any form. 
    •  “And if men strive together, and hurt a woman with child, so that her fruit depart, and yet no harm follow – he shall be surely fined, according to as the woman’s husband shall lay upon him; and he shall pay as the judges determine. But if any harm follow – then thou shall give life for life” (Ex. 21:22–23)
  • Hinduism
    • Classical Hindu texts are strongly opposed to abortion: one text compares abortion to the killing of a priest, another text considers abortion a worse sin than killing one’s parents, another text says that a woman who aborts her child will lose her caste.
    • Ahimsa – non-violence – teaches that it is wrong not only to kill living beings but to also to kill embryos.
  • JEHOVAHS WITNESSES 

Overall, despite where you actually stand religiously, it will be difficult for any institution to validly deny you the right to practice your religion FREELY. Ultimately, something many faiths have in common is the belief that their deity will protect them and is the ultimate arbiter of power and healing. Many often believe in the sanctity of life and the value of humanity. If there was bloodshed in the production of anything, there is definitely room for opposition. Elaborate on these key points. Even if you don’t genuinely believe these things, religion is your best bet in being able to make your own medical decision in this case. 

Aborted fetal cell lines were used in the development of all three vaccines authorized for emergency use here in the United States. 

  • What are fetal cell lines? 

Cell lines are cells that are grown in a laboratory that are derived from elective abortions from the 70s and 80s. Scientists derive cells from aborted children and multiply them in labs to use for medical advancement, To be clear, this does NOT mean that fetal cells are directly in the COVID-19 vaccines but instead, are used in the production/ approval of the vaccines. Still, the production of these vaccines would not have been possible without abortions occurring.

  • HEK 293: “HEK293 is a cell line derived from human embryonic kidney cells grown in tissue culture…” aka aborted fetal kidney cells
  • PER.C6: “The PER.C6 cell line is derived from human embryonic retinal cells, originally from the retinal tissue of an 18 week old fetus aborted in 1985 and further developed and prepared as cell line by transfection with defined E1 region of the adenovirus type 5 followed by selection for transfectants with an immortal phenotype.” aborted fetal retina cell
  • Johnson&Johnson used PER C6 in the development, confirmation, and production of the vaccine. This vaccine could not have been produced without the direct ties to fetal cell lines. 
  • Pfizer and Moderna vaccines use the HEK 293 fetal cells for the “post production’ of the vaccine to test the efficacy. The fetuses’ that were aborted were essentially used to produce cells as test subjects. 

SAMPLE EMAIL 

To whom it may concern,

Hi! I hope you’re having a great summer break! My name is (your name) and I am a (your rising grade/ position) here at (your college). I am requesting an exemption from the COVID 19 vaccine in light of my religious beliefs. I am a devout Christian and especially take my pro-life, anti-abortion (refer to Jeremiah 1:5, Psalm 22:10, Job 31:15, Psalm 139: 13-16) values very seriously. Due to the use of aborted fetal cells in the production or testing of all three vaccines, I will not be able to receive this vaccination in good faith. HEK 293, a fetal cell line derived from an aborted fetus’ kidney in 1972, was used in the post-production stage of development for both Moderna and Pfizer. Essentially, the abortion was performed to use  as subjects to test the efficacy of vaccines.  Johnson & Johnson used PER C6 in the development, confirmation, and production of the vaccine. PER C6 is a fetal cell line derived from the retinal tissue from an 18-week old fetus aborted in 1985. Without both of these abortions occurring, these vaccines would not currently be available for use. 

I will not be taking a vaccine that has undeniable ties to an act that is religiously considered a moral atrocity simply for my medical gain. I am sure you’re wondering why this matters so much considering these abortions took place decades ago. As a Christian, I know God is outside of our perception of time, therefore the level of evil is the same now as it was the day these abortions were performed.  I hope you will take my concerns into consideration. I hope you have a great rest of your break! 

 

Sincerely,

 

MEDICAL EXEMPTIONS 

 

 

SAMPLE EMAIL FOR MEDICAL HESITATION (This email may only work on a larger scale if you want to explain why the vaccine is immoral to force. I dont recommend this to get simply exempt.)

To whom it may concern, 

Hi! I hope you’re having a great break so far. My name is (your name) and I am (your grade) here at (your college.) I am reaching out to you with concern over the new vaccine mandate at our university. As I am sure you are aware, there is a lot of skepticism throughout the nation regarding this vaccine. These fears are not exclusive to what some would consider “conspiracy theorists” or “anti-vaxxers.” Many college-aged students, who are “pro-science” and typically get vaccines, also hold valid hesitations over the very new COVID 19 vaccine. 

First and foremost, this vaccine has not even been out for a full year, nor is it approved by the Food & Drug Association. We cannot know the long-term effects simply because it has not been out for an extended period of time. Considering I am a healthy, young (your age) year old with no comorbidities, I do not feel comfortable getting this experimental vaccination. In fact, within only a few months, there have been complications. We have seen deadly blood clots (Johnson & Johnson), heart problems among teenagers and young adults (Moderna/ Pfizer), abnormal mammograms, allergic reactions, and much more. The young people who have faced these complications because of the vaccine almost certainly would have had a better experience with getting COVID 19.  If all of these complications are showing up within 6 months, how could we possibly know the severity of long-term complications? 

I am happy to have a more extensive conversation with you about this and possible solutions for unvaccinated students like testing and masks. However, it is not okay to mandate students to give up governance over their health and body for simply wanting to get an education. I hope you consider my concerns and that you have a healthy, restful summer. 

Sincerely, 

 

BBC. (2009, August 25). Religions – Hinduism: Abortion. BBC. https://www.bbc.co.uk/religion/religions/hinduism/hinduethics/abortion_1.shtml.

BBC. (2009, September 7). Religions – Islam: Abortion. BBC. https://www.bbc.co.uk/religion/religions/islam/islamethics/abortion_1.shtml.

HEK293 Cell Line Origins, Cytogenetics, and Expression. HEK293 Cell Line | Origins, Cytogenetics, and Expression. (2019, November 14). http://www.hek293.com/.

Issues in Jewish Ethics: Abortion. Abortion in Judaism. (n.d.). https://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/abortion-in-judaism.

Johnson & Johnson. Content Lab U.S. (n.d.). https://www.jnj.com/johnson-johnson-announces-a-lead-vaccine-candidate-for-covid-19-landmark-new-partnership-with-u-s-department-of-health-human-services-and-commitment-to-supply-one-billion-vaccines-worldwide-for-emergency-pandemic-use.

Marchan, J. (2020). A vaccine built from potential immunogenic pieces derived from the SARS-CoV-2 spike glycoprotein. https://doi.org/10.1101/2020.09.24.312355

PER.C6 Cell Lines. PER.C6 Cell Lines – Creative Biolabs. (n.d.). https://www.gmp-creativebiolabs.com/per-c6-cell-lines_74.htm.

Person. (2021, March 22). You asked, we answered: Do the COVID-19 vaccines contain aborted fetal cells? Nebraska Medicine. https://www.nebraskamed.com/COVID/you-asked-we-answered-do-the-covid-19-vaccines-contain-aborted-fetal-cells.

Schorr, I. (2020, December 23). The Facts about the COVID Vaccines and Fetal Cell Lines. National Review. https://www.nationalreview.com/2020/12/the-facts-about-the-pfizer-and-moderna-vaccines-and-fetal-cell-lines/.

Vaccines – safety, ethics and the bigger picture. Christian Concern. (2021, February 11). https://christianconcern.com/resource/vaccines-safety-ethics-and-the-bigger-picture/. 

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