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Content analysis of requests for religious exemptions from a mandatory influenza vaccination program for healthcare personnel.
J Med Ethics. 2018 Jun; 44(6):389-391.JM

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

Having failed to achieve adequate influenza vaccination rates among employees through voluntary programmes, healthcare organisations have adopted mandatory ones. Some programmes permit religious exemptions, but little is known about who requests religious objections or why.

METHODS

Content analysis of applications for religious exemptions from influenza vaccination at a free-standing children's hospital in Cincinnati, Ohio, USA during the 2014-2015 influenza season.

RESULTS

Twelve of 15 260 (0.08%) employees submitted applications requesting religious exemptions. Requestors included both clinical and non-clinical employees. All requestors voluntarily identified their religious affiliation, and most were Christian (n=9). Content analysis identified six categories of reasons used to justify an exemption: risks/benefits, ethical/political, lack of direct patient contact, providence, purity and sanctity of life. Individuals articulated reasons in 1-5 (mean 2.6) categories. The most frequently cited category (n=9) was purity; the vaccine and/or its mode of administration were impure, or receiving the vaccine would make the individual impure. Two individuals asserted that the vaccine contained cells derived from aborted human fetuses. Individuals (n=6) also volunteered information supporting the sincerity of their beliefs including distress over previous vaccination and examples of behaviour consistent with their specific objection or their general religious commitment. All requests were approved.

CONCLUSIONS

Less than 0.1% of employees requested religious exemptions. Partnering with religious leaders and carefully correcting erroneous information may help address requestors' concerns.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Ethics Center, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, Ohio, USA.Division of Human Genetics, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, Ohio, USA. Division of Patient Services, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, Ohio, USA.

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article

Language

eng

PubMed ID

29463693

Citation

Antommaria, Armand H., and Cynthia A. Prows. "Content Analysis of Requests for Religious Exemptions From a Mandatory Influenza Vaccination Program for Healthcare Personnel." Journal of Medical Ethics, vol. 44, no. 6, 2018, pp. 389-391.
Antommaria AH, Prows CA. Content analysis of requests for religious exemptions from a mandatory influenza vaccination program for healthcare personnel. J Med Ethics. 2018;44(6):389-391.
Antommaria, A. H., & Prows, C. A. (2018). Content analysis of requests for religious exemptions from a mandatory influenza vaccination program for healthcare personnel. Journal of Medical Ethics, 44(6), 389-391. https://doi.org/10.1136/medethics-2017-104271
Antommaria AH, Prows CA. Content Analysis of Requests for Religious Exemptions From a Mandatory Influenza Vaccination Program for Healthcare Personnel. J Med Ethics. 2018;44(6):389-391. PubMed PMID: 29463693.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Content analysis of requests for religious exemptions from a mandatory influenza vaccination program for healthcare personnel. AU - Antommaria,Armand H, AU - Prows,Cynthia A, Y1 - 2018/02/20/ PY - 2017/03/16/received PY - 2018/01/24/revised PY - 2018/02/06/accepted PY - 2018/2/22/pubmed PY - 2020/3/24/medline PY - 2018/2/22/entrez KW - health personnel KW - immunisation programmes KW - influenza vaccines KW - mandatory programmes KW - mass vaccination KW - religious exemptions SP - 389 EP - 391 JF - Journal of medical ethics JO - J Med Ethics VL - 44 IS - 6 N2 - OBJECTIVE: Having failed to achieve adequate influenza vaccination rates among employees through voluntary programmes, healthcare organisations have adopted mandatory ones. Some programmes permit religious exemptions, but little is known about who requests religious objections or why. METHODS: Content analysis of applications for religious exemptions from influenza vaccination at a free-standing children's hospital in Cincinnati, Ohio, USA during the 2014-2015 influenza season. RESULTS: Twelve of 15 260 (0.08%) employees submitted applications requesting religious exemptions. Requestors included both clinical and non-clinical employees. All requestors voluntarily identified their religious affiliation, and most were Christian (n=9). Content analysis identified six categories of reasons used to justify an exemption: risks/benefits, ethical/political, lack of direct patient contact, providence, purity and sanctity of life. Individuals articulated reasons in 1-5 (mean 2.6) categories. The most frequently cited category (n=9) was purity; the vaccine and/or its mode of administration were impure, or receiving the vaccine would make the individual impure. Two individuals asserted that the vaccine contained cells derived from aborted human fetuses. Individuals (n=6) also volunteered information supporting the sincerity of their beliefs including distress over previous vaccination and examples of behaviour consistent with their specific objection or their general religious commitment. All requests were approved. CONCLUSIONS: Less than 0.1% of employees requested religious exemptions. Partnering with religious leaders and carefully correcting erroneous information may help address requestors' concerns. SN - 1473-4257 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/29463693/Content_analysis_of_requests_for_religious_exemptions_from_a_mandatory_influenza_vaccination_program_for_healthcare_personnel_ L2 - http://jme.bmj.com/cgi/pmidlookup?view=long&pmid=29463693 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -