Coronavirus Vaccine -- VAULT IMAGE
SPOKANE, Wash. - Under a new directive from Governor Jay Inslee, thousands of workers in Washington will need to be fully vaccinated in just over a month on Oct. 18.
However, there are medical and religious exemptions allowed. What goes into getting an exemption and how are they enforced? It's a tough topic right now as many are urged to get the shot or they'll be fired. But, what's even harder is making sure people who aren't getting the vaccine have a good reason to be exempt.
Not only do most state employees have to get vaccinated against COVID-19, but the same goes for almost everyone in Washington's education field. President Joe Biden also announced last week that he's looking to require employers with more than 100 employees to get vaccinated or tested weekly.
Medical exemptions can be anything from allergies, to cancer, to pregnancy. Religious exemptions are more challenging. Either way, you can start by talking to your employer or et the approval from a health care provider. Health officials say medical exemptions are much easier to verify.
"Sincerely-held religious beliefs are a little trickier for example we've heard of the template exemption requests circulating across the internet to claim sincerely held religious beliefs," Taya Briley with the Washington State Hospital Association said. "What's key to validating those is knowing the hospital will engage in an interactive process with the individual that has the sincerely held religious belief to confirm it and to discuss what accommodations could potentially be made."
Personal or philosophical exemptions aren't allowed because they aren't protected by law.