So your religion doesn’t allow the COVID-19 vaccine? Here are some other medications you can’t take

Still, for many Americans informed solely by their social media research, the attenuated relationship between vaccines and these derivative cell lines used in their developmental and production phases is beside the point: having heard the magic words “fetal cell,” their thirst for knowledge suddenly dries up, and their resolve to refuse the vaccine hardens into a pseudo-religious conviction, creating a dilemma for their employers who want to maintain a safe workplace. Faced with such tactics among some members of its staff refusing to be vaccinated, one hospital system has decided to simply embrace these vaccine refusers’ arguments by taking them a step further to their logical conclusion, Beth Mole reports for ArsTechnica:

A hospital system in Arkansas is making it a bit more difficult for staff to receive a religious exemption from its COVID-19 vaccine mandate. The hospital is now requiring staff to also swear off extremely common medicines, such as Tylenol, Tums, and even Preparation H, to get the exemption.

The move was prompted when Conway Regional Health System noted an unusual uptick in vaccine exemption requests that cited the use of fetal cell lines in the development and testing of the vaccines.

The list of common over-the-counter medications (as well as commonly prescribed drugs) which were developed, produced, or tested in manners similar to the developmental COVID-19 vaccines, using descendant lines from old fetal cells encompasses just about anything you would commonly turn to for headache, allergy, or indigestion relief:

The list includes Tylenol, Pepto Bismol, aspirin, Tums, Lipitor, Senokot, Motrin, ibuprofen, Maalox, Ex-Lax, Benadryl, Sudafed, albuterol, Preparation H, MMR vaccine, Claritin, Zoloft, Prilosec OTC, and azithromycin.

Under Conway Regional’s procedure, an employee seeking a “religious exemption” must also swear off these medicines, whose historical development, pre- and post-production testing or production processes involved using fetal cell lines in the same manner as that of the COVID-19 vaccines. As Mole reports, if the employee refuses to sign an attestation swearing that they will not consume these common medicines “and any others like them,” they are granted only a temporary exemption from the vaccination policy, presumably to give them enough time to find another job. The attestation itself notes that they will again be asked to either sign it or get vaccinated under potential penalty of termination or other disciplinary action.

As Conway Regional CEO Matt Troup puts it in an interview for Becker’s Hospital Review, the intent of this attestation is twofold:

“The intent of the religious attestation form is twofold: to ensure staff requesting exemption are sincere in their beliefs and to educate staff who might have requested an exemption without understanding the full scope of how fetal cells are used in testing and development in common medicines.”

According to Troup, only about 5% of its approximately 1,830 employees have requested such a “religious exemption.” As reported by KARK 4 News, the attestation required by Conway has made its way onto social media, where it has been criticized as “condescending:”

Troup noted that he is aware the form has started making the rounds on social media put pushed back on the idea held by critics that it took a condescending tone, saying he did not think that to be the case and noting that talking down to staffers was not what they are trying to do.

“We really have no interest in, no intent of being disrespectful here,” he said. “That’s not what this is about. This is a lightning rod issue, and we have no interest in trying to incite more anger and frustration.”

In other words, anti-vaxxers shouldn’t take any of this personally. It’s strictly business.

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