These Health Care Workers Would Rather Get Fired Than Get Vaccinated – The New York Times

“There’s this coercive element that is hard to ignore in all of this urgency,” Mr. Crampton, a senior counsel for the Thomas More Society, a conservative law firm that handles religious freedom cases, said. He would not identify the plaintiffs but said many are Catholic and some Protestant.

Pope Francis and the leaders of many major religions have endorsed vaccine mandates.

The plaintiffs, like other health care workers opposing the mandate, contend that the state is not taking into account that some of them have already had Covid-19 and believe they have a natural immunity.

But scientists say that prior infection does not fully protect people, and available data shows that while breakthrough infections in vaccinated people are rising, vaccines still greatly reduce the risk of infection, hospitalization and death.

State vaccination figures show that, as of Wednesday, 16 percent of the state’s roughly 450,000 hospital workers, or about 70,000 people, were not fully vaccinated. The data show that 15 percent of staff at skilled nursing facilities and 14 percent of workers at adult care facilities are also not fully vaccinated, representing another 25,000 or so workers.

There are no clear data on how many of those have absorbed unfounded anti-vaccination ideas through word of mouth, social media or politically inflected cable news; how many have not managed to take time off to get vaccinated; and how many have concerns about their personal health.

But what it adds up to is angst on all sides.

“Nobody should be put in these types of positions,” Ms. Leslie said on Sunday.

She has gotten other vaccines, she said, but she believes the Covid-19 shot would be risky for her, even though the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation, an advocacy group, broadly recommends vaccination for people with her condition. With her medical exemption rejected, she asked for a religious one.

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