HometownBell County

Actions

Rise in religious exceptions for vaccine across Central Texas

RELIGOUSEXEMPTIONVACCINE00000000.jpg
Posted at 2:59 AM, Oct 08, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-08 15:59:59-04

Christina Wilson is one of the thousands of Central Texans who are choosing not to get the COVID-19 vaccine, she said this is because of her religious beliefs.

“My faith tells me, God inside me tells me to stay away,” said Wilson.

Wilson believes Bible scriptures like Romans 12:2 which states “Be not conformed to this world,” are reason enough to reject the vaccine.

“When we shut down the churches in 2020 that was in direct violation of our constitution first amendment. Congress shall make no law preventing the free expression of religion,” said Wilson.

Health expert Amy Mersiovsky with Texas A&M University-Central Texas says she several patients use religious exemptions for medical procedures.

“Specifically I have taken care of patients that are Jehovah's Witnesses and can’t have blood transfusions or blood products,” said Mersiovsky.

However, Mersiovsky said a growing number of people are using religious exemptions to skip the vaccine.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission says in general religious exemptions don’t have to be recognized by organized religion and can be new, unusual, or “seem illogical or unreasonable to others."

Some believe that people are abusing the exemption, confusing them with political and social ideas.

“Here we go with people that have their moral objection to taking the vaccine for their own religious beliefs. There should not be a mandate,” said Wilson.

Now with President Biden’s new vaccine mandates, employers must determine if an employee’s objections are legitimate.

Wilson believes that rights should solely belong to the individual.