Monday, February 28, 2022

Health workers’ vaccine mandate undone by religious exemptions

While the federal government doesn’t track the number of religious exemptions, anecdotal evidence indicates they are widespread in health care settings. Several hospital executives told POLITICO their prevalence has helped keep the hospital from laying off dozens of employees, which would threaten their ability to provide patient care. But public health experts and patient advocates fear that widespread use of the exemptions risks infecting patients with the virus, even as Covid-19 cases decline rapidly from their January peak. Last month, as Omicron surged, more patients than at any time of the pandemic caught Covid in U.S. hospitals, likely due to insufficient control measures, POLITICO found in an analysis of federal data.
Studies show that unvaccinated individuals are more likely to contract and transmit the virus.

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