Students apply for religious exemptions for Covid vaccine

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CHAMPAIGN COUNTY, Ill. (WCIA) — The University of Illinois is requiring students to be vaccinated, but some of them are requesting an exemption for religious or medical reasons.

Students will have to go online and fill out a form. They then will have to email that in. It also asks the students, or faculty and staff, to write a description of why they cannot get the vaccine due to religious beliefs.

As of last night, the Dean of Students said 838 have submitted a religious exemption request. 826 of those students had been granted the religious exemption. He says in the 12 they denied, it was clear there wasn’t a specific belief or practice that conflicted with the vaccine, or he says they should have applied for a medical exemption instead.

He says nearly half the students who submitted a religious exemption have cited their beliefs on abortion, specifically aborted fetal cell lines they believe may have been used in the vaccine. The rest said their bodies are a temple of God, believe in natural healing, or don’t want to inject toxins in their body.

“I’m going to take students at their word. I have no reason to doubt that they’re not being honest and have not received any reports of someone not being honest in that regard,” Stephen Bryan, Dean of Students at U of I, said.

84 students have submitted a medical exemption request. 63 students were granted this.

Undergraduate students are 91% vaccinated at the University. Graduate and professional students are almost at 95% vaccinated. Civil service is at 74% and faculty is at 88% vaccinated.

There’s an important reminder if you’re not vaccinated. Undergraduate students are required to test and receive negative results every other day. Graduate and professional students, including faculty and staff, are required to test and receive negative results at least twice per week.

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