Religious exemption requests detail why Spokane Public School employees refused vaccines

Spokane Public Schools approved and accommodated every single religious exemption request made by its employees.

SPOKANE, Wash.– Hundreds of state employees lost their jobs this month over the COVID-19 vaccine mandate.

More than 350 pages of exemption requests came from Spokane Public School employees and 4 News Now dug through them. The requests listed their belief in God and bodily autonomy as reasons for not getting the shot.

Requests from employees included letters from their pastors. Most cited a pro-life stance. The majority of worker statements said aborted fetal cells are used in the vaccines and their production. They believe getting the vaccine would go against God.

Jesse Erasmus is an assistant professor at the University of Washington who specializes in the development of RNA vaccines and therapeutics. Erasmus said Johnson & Johnson used aborted fetal cells in production. However, it is a cell line from the 1980s that has been used in research for decades.

“That cell line has been used in research ever since. So, one of the things you can do is immortalize the cell line, and use them over, and over again you just expand them, and they propagate and grow, and so you can use these cells over and over again. It’s not like Johnson & Johnson has to abort a fetus every time they want to produce a new batch of vaccines,” Erasmus said.

Moderna and Pfizer used fetal cell lines in testing from a 1973 abortion in the Netherlands in research. However, none were used in the final product. RNA vaccines such as Moderna and Pfizer are generated in a cell free process. This means they don’t use any type of cell, let alone from an aborted fetus.

“You might find in a research paper where researchers were doing an initial study, so they took the RNA vaccine, and they might’ve put it into a cell line that maybe came from an aborted fetus just to generate some data to say that its producing a desired protein, but that cell line is not used in the production, so whatever is going into your body is hasn’t come anywhere near an aborted fetus tissue,” he said.

Erasmus said mandates are a public health measure, not an individual health measure.

“The government is not trying to force us to be vaccinated to protect ourselves–it’s a public health mandate in that we need to be vaccinating individuals so that we can protect the population at a whole, and I think that the hard part individual freedoms are what’s not at question. Its more about public health freedoms,” he said.

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