As COVID vaccine requirements take hold, questions emerge about medical and religious exemptions

Local News

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) – COVID-19 vaccine requirements have arrived. But they are raising questions about possible vaccine exemptions.

A lot of people are asking: with FDA approval, will “exemptions” from the vaccine still stand? Medical experts say there are really no automatic exemptions, but rather certain conditions that could make it more difficult.

“The biggest concern was, obviously, going into anaphylactic shock,” said Las Vegan Amanda Favella.

Favella has serious allergic reactions. But in terms of protecting herself from COVID-19, she asked physicians what she should do.

“My doctor told me, ‘Please hold off on getting the vaccine. Let’s wait to see how this pans out,'” Favella said.

Still, Favella really wanted her shot — and she just got her first dose.

“With everything that was happening with all the vaccine mandates and whatnot, I was like, okay, maybe I just [have] to get it,” Favella said.

While Favella opted not to ask for a medical exemption, experts say her initial concerns were valid.

“That would be if you actually had an allergy to a component of the vaccination,” said Dr. Christina Madison, an Associate Professor of Pharmacy Practice at Roseman University of Health Sciences.

Even if you have a doctor’s medical exemption from the COVID vaccine, you still might have a hard time getting in to see the Raiders at Allegiant Stadium, attending a concert through Live Nation, or being on campus at UNLV. Meanwhile, churches are grappling with religious exemptions.

“The church really walks a fine line,” said Bishop Gregory Gordon with the Roman Catholic Diocese of Las Vegas.

Bishop Gordon says the Roman Catholic Diocese of Las Vegas will not grant parishioners’ requests for religious exemptions for the COVID vaccine.

“We tell them to present that as a conscientious exemption,” Bishop Gordon said. “That doesn’t mean that they have the right, or we have the obligation, to provide a religious exemption.”

It is really a personal decision — one that has paid off for Favella.

“I’m okay,” Favella said. “I’ve had my first dose, I’m okay.”

Experts say if you have a serious medical condition and are worried about getting the COVID vaccine, the best thing you can do is consult with your doctor about the next steps.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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