The Religious Exemption Vaccination Letter

Healthcare providers seeking a religious exemption vaccination letter.

What Goes Into a Religious Exemption Form for Vaccination?

If you work at a healthcare facility in Michigan or Florida and have not yet been vaccinated, a federal mandate is in place requiring you to do so. But what if you are strongly opposed to vaccination because of your religion? Then the law is on your side for you to make a formal request to your employer asking for a letter of exemption, based on how vaccination goes your religious beliefs.

Our regulatory lawyers for healthcare providers in Florida and Michigan have the answers you need about what to do and what not to do when you have a religious reason to not get a vaccine.

What Led to Healthcare Providers Wanting to Seek Religious Exemption from Vaccination?

It stems from the mandate set in place by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), acting through the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), requiring anyone who works in a healthcare setting that receives Medicare and Medicaid funding to comply with vaccination requirements.

A recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling upheld the HHS order, maintaining that all healthcare providers who work in a healthcare setting that receives Medicare and Medicaid funding must be vaccinated. (President Biden also put an executive order in place in 2021 seeking similar actions.)

This applies to anyone who is a licensed healthcare provider, whether a physician, certified registered nurse, physical therapist, or pain management specialist. Healthcare settings include surgery centers, nursing homes/long-term care facilities, dialysis facilities, and general practices.

Why Are There Religious Exemptions for Vaccines in the First Place?

Because it’s written into federal law. Under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, employers must give their employees “reasonable accommodation” for their “sincerely held” faiths, so long as doing so will not impose “undue hardship” on the employer.

This means that if a healthcare provider strongly believes the CMS vaccination mandate targets their religion — and, in correlation, their personal conscience — they are cleared, under law and as adults, for filing a religious exemption form, asking in the letter for vaccine exemption.

What Do I Need to Show That, Based on My Religion, I am Against Vaccines?

In the letter of religious exemption, you must demonstrate that you have “sincerely held” religious beliefs that go against the vaccine mandate. For adults on their religious exemption for vaccines form to simply say, “I believe in God, so I cannot get vaccinated,” is not enough.

Instead, you will need to explain:

    • Your religious background, including how long you have practiced your beliefs and observances
    • How, in your daily life, you are zealously held to living your religious belief
    • What specific tenet of your religious belief or practice is contrary to, or would preclude you from receiving, vaccination
    • How being vaccinated would be a violation of your moral conscience considering your religious belief and practice

These explanations can include how you were brought up under your religion; names of houses of worship you have attended; related activities you engage in; and particular scriptures, psalms, or biblical passages that demonstrate your religious values. An attorney who specializes in regulatory matters within healthcare can work with you to best craft your reasoning.

What Should I Avoid Putting into a Religious Exemption Form?

Your explanation in a religious exemption vaccination letter should solely be faith-based. If your reasoning is rooted in philosophical, political, or scientific beliefs, those arguments could work against you before the committee that reviews these forms. This is especially true if you work for a large-scale healthcare system, which usually have in-house attorneys as part of the review process to assess the finer points of the letter.

A healthcare entity’s review committee is there to provide collective, consistent evaluation for each religious exemption vaccination letter. If the committee, under advisory of its lawyers, determines your answers to be more politically minded and not within a religious realm, or the timing of the request appears suspect, your request could be rejected.

Is There a Deadline for Forms Asking to Be Exempt from Vaccination?

Deadlines vary among Michigan and Florida healthcare entity employers for providing a letter of religious exemption. In addition, vaccination exemptions deadlines for medical professionals can vary by state. We suggest contacting your HR department to find out specifics, and to ask for one of your company’s forms addressing being exempt from vaccinations.

How Long Does the Process for a Religious Exemption from Immunization Form Take?

With the assistance of a healthcare regulatory attorney, your form for religious exemption from immunization can be produced in less than five business days.

Why Should I Contact a Michigan or Florida Healthcare Regulatory Attorney for My Religious Exemption Vaccination Letter?

You only get one shot at presenting a religious exemption vaccination form to your healthcare entity provider. Putting one together requires attention to detail, having proper information in the right place, and, most importantly, a sound reasoning for your request. And an experienced healthcare regulatory attorney can help you get the results you seek.

At Chapman Law Group, our regulatory lawyers know what healthcare employers — as well as state medical boards, the Florida Department of Health (DOH), and the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) — will expect when it comes to these matters.

Our sole focus is assisting Michigan and Florida healthcare providers with their legal needs. We bring decades of experience in regulatory and licensing to health care professionals like you, with thousands of clients satisfied with how we put their best interests at the forefront.

Contact us today to discuss how we can work with you on your religious exemption vaccination letter.

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Aaron J. Kemp

Senior Attorney

Chairperson of Professional Licensing & Regulatory Affairs

Michigan Office
1441 W. Long Lake Road, Suite 310
Troy, MI 48098
Phone: (248) 644-6326

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