A hospital system in Arkansas is making it a little harder for employees to get a religious exemption from its COVID-19 vaccine mandate. The hospital now requires staff to swear off extremely common drugs like Tylenol, Tums and even Preparation H in order to receive the exemption.
The move was prompted when Conway Regional Health System noticed an unusual increase in vaccine waiver requests, citing the use of embryonic cell lines in the development and testing of vaccines.
“What we’ve seen with the influenza vaccine was largely disproportionate to what we’ve seen,” said Matt Troup, president and CEO of Conway Regional Health System. Bakers Hospital Review in an interview on Wednesday.
“Thus,” Trump continued, “we have provided a religious verification form for individuals who are requesting religious exemptions,” he said. The form includes a list of 30 commonly used drugs that “fall into the same category as the COVID-19 vaccine in use in embryonic cell lines,” Conway Regional said.
The list includes Tylenol, Pepto Bismol, Aspirin, Tums, Lipitor, Senokot, Motrin, Ibuprofen, Maalox, X-Lax, HIV-1, Benadryl, Sudafed, Albuterol, Preparation H, MMR Vaccine, Claritin, Zoloft, Prilosec OTC, and Azithromycin .
Conway Regional notes that the list includes commonly used and available drugs but is not an all-inclusive list of such drugs.
Employees are asked to certify that they “truthfully accept and confirm that my sincere religious belief is consistent and true” and that they will not and will not use drugs and any others like them will do.
The intent of the form is twofold, Troupe says. First, the hospital wants to ensure that staff members are honest in their stated beliefs, he said, and second, it wants to “educate staff who have learned about how embryonic cells are used in testing and development.” May have requested exemption without understanding the full scope. In common drugs.”
The troupe says that employees who do not sign the verification form will be given a temporary waiver, which is only temporary. They may later be asked to sign the verification and, as a verification note, if they fail to receive a waiver or a vaccine, they face disciplinary action, including dismissal.
In an interview with an NBC-affiliated outlet in Arkansas, Troop noted that only about 5 percent Hospital system employees applied for religious or medical exemptions and the rest of the staff have been partially or fully vaccinated.
“A lot of it, I believe, is a hesitation about the vaccine, and so it’s a separate issue from a religious exemption,” he said.