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Milwaukee hospital ends religious exemption for vaccine

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

The religious exemption expired this week for staff at Froedtert Health. The health care provider said its ending the exemption because of the availability of a protein-based vaccination called Novavax.

Froedtert said 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 with existing exemptions had until Wednesday to receive their first Novavax dose or be considered “voluntarily resigned.”

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.

Impacted employees were provided the opportunity to apply for an exemption after learning the previous exemption kept on file was no longer valid.

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 its decision affects less than 1% of its staff.

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