I-Team: How will medical, religious exemptions be accepted if vaccine mandate is approved for CCSD?

Local News

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — The heated topic over the potential vaccine mandate for Clark County School District staff continues.

On Wednesday, the school board voted in favor of giving Superintendent Jesus Jara the power to enact a possible mandate for CCSD staff down the road.

One detail that still needs to be worked out is how medical and religious exemptions would be accepted if such a mandate were to move forward.

CCSD and unions will also have to try to collaborate on what the rules would be for exemptions.

8 News Now check in with some local physicians about medical exemptions today and they say it is extremely rare to have a condition that would prevent someone from getting the COVID-19 vaccine.

Dr. Staci McHale is an Ob-gyn and the president of the Clark County Medical Society.

She says someone seeking a medical exemption would need to get it from their physician who is aware of their medical history and understands their need for an exemption.

One reason for an exemption might include an allergic reaction perhaps if the patient is allergic to a component in the vaccine.

Another reason may be an underlying inflammatory heart condition. Dr. Mchale says those reasons are very rare.

As more employers mandate the vaccine, she shared some of her most recent experiences with patients requesting exemptions to the vaccine.

“There have been patients who have already reached out to me regarding a letter for medical exemption and they don’t really have an underlying reason. They just choose not to be vaccinated. But I’ve told these patients personally is that I’m unable to write a letter for a medical exemption and that they need to discuss that concern with their employer,” said Dr. McHale.

She says she recommends patients get the vaccine if they are pregnant or thinking about becoming pregnant, are immunocompromised, are undergoing cancer treatments, are on dialysis, or have chronic diseases.

As for religious exemptions, they also appear to be rare. Some religious groups are saying they will not issue exemptions. An example of that includes the Roman Catholic Diocese of Las Vegas.

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