What the exemptions are from mandatory COVID-19 vaccinations

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) – Exemptions from mandatory COVID-19 vaccinations for California state employees and health care workers fall into two categories: medical reason or religious reason. 

“The medical and religious exemptions are pretty standard throughout the field on this,” John Gioia said. 

You will find those same two exemptions for employees in some Bay Area counties, like Contra Costa. 

Contra Costa County Supervisor John Gioia describes what type of proof is needed for a medical exemption from the mandatory COVID-19 vaccination.

“Basically all the employee needs to do is get a written statement by a physician, a nurse practitioner or some other medical professional stating why that person qualifies for the medical exemption,” Gioia said. 

However, there are limitations on revealing specific medical information.

“It does not need to go into detail about what their underlying medical condition is,” Gioia said. 

“We have the vaccinations going on right now in the parking lot from 10 to three through Saturday,” Bishop Bob Jackson said. 

Over in Oakland at Acts Full Gospel Church, Bishop Bob Jackson says so far, no parishioner has asked for help with a religious exemption. 

He and his wife survived COVID-19. The vaccination is not mandatory at Acts Full Gospel but the church strongly encourages it.

“Yes we do because we’ve had a lot of people from the church and relatives of church members, and on and on, who have come down with COVID-19 and who actually died from COVID-19. We encourage them to take the vaccine if you want to live,” Bishop Jackson said. 

The religious exemption for the vaccine has a different level of flexibility when providing proof, says Supervisor Gioia.

“It could be from the pastor or other faith leader. It could be something that the individual documents. I don’t think there is going to be a lot of looking into all of this. Employers, whether it is the county or private employer, don’t want to be in the middle of checking up on someone’s religious beliefs,” Gioia said. 

For more information about mandatory COVID-19 vaccination medical and religious exemptions, log onto the California Department of Public Health’s website. 

You can also check with your local county health department.

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