MILWAUKEE — Religious exemptions are set to expire today for Froedtert staff.
The recently authorized version of the COVID vaccine, made by Novavax, does not conflict with religious beliefs, according to Froedtert. Therefore, those who had previously been exempt from a COVID-19 vaccine mandate, are now required to get a shot.
The Novavax vaccine received emergency authorization last month by the FDA. Novavax is different than the Moderna or Pfizer vaccines because it did not use fetal cell lines for development like other existing options, and it is protein-based rather than mRNA.
Those differences are what no longer allow the vaccine to be considered a religious conflict, according to Froedtert.
When the hospital announced the change in exemptions, it told the TMJ4 News I-Team that the change will only affect a small percentage of its workforce. The change in policy required all employees not previously vaccinated to get their first shot by Sept. 21.
The second dose is required by Oct. 5, and if not received by Oct. 19, employees will be considered voluntarily resigned.
You can read Froedtert's full statement below:
"Froedtert Health requires staff and providers be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 as a federal requirement that is monitored for compliance. We join many other health systems around southeast Wisconsin and the U.S. that have made vaccination a condition of employment.
The Novavax vaccination for COVID-19 is now available. This protein-based vaccination option eliminates conflicts for those staff with religious or medical exemptions caused by mRNA-based vaccines and other concerns. Since those staff are now eligible for a vaccination that does not conflict with their religious beliefs or medical situation, their exemption will expire. This affects a small percentage of staff with a vaccine exemption. Eligible staff continue to be exempt from a COVID-19 vaccine for religious and medical reasons.
Froedtert Health respects the right of staff and providers to engage in activity protected by state and federal law."