Itzia Jimenez, 33, gym cleaner
This summer, Mr. de Blasio introduced vaccine mandates for certain activities, including indoor dining and gyms. Itzia Jimenez, who refused to get vaccinated because she fears the vaccines are not safe, lost her job cleaning gyms.
Ms. Jimenez said she has struggled to find cleaning jobs because she is unvaccinated. Her family now relies financially on her daughter’s father, whose workplace required him to be vaccinated.
She is making plans to home-school her preteen daughter, she said, anticipating a possible future mandate for public school children. All 50 states already require certain vaccinations, such as for measles, mumps and rubella. This month, California announced plans to require Covid-19 vaccines for students. Eric Adams, New York City’s likely next mayor, has indicated he plans to do the same.
“But she likes to be around her friends, it is so hard for her,” Ms. Jimenez said of her daughter. “Am I doing the right thing, am I doing the correct thing?”
Douglas Kariman, 48, nurse
A nurse in a medical intensive care unit at Erie County Medical Center, Douglas Kariman applied for a religious exemption from mandatory vaccination. A Baptist Christian, he said his opposition to abortion was one factor in his refusing the vaccines, which, like aspirin, ibuprofen and many other medicines, were tested or developed using research from fetal cells collected decades ago.
At one health care network in Arkansas, the Conway Regional Health System, so many employees requested religious exemptions that the system began requiring them to sign a form stating that their faith also prevented them from using 30 common medicines, including Benadryl and Tums, that were developed using research from fetal cells, according to reports.