On Dec. 16, we received a response from Mayo Clinic, regarding our letter dated Dec. 10, in which we asked (again) for answers to questions about their COVID-19 vaccine mandate, and added a couple more questions.
See the letter here.
December 16, 2021
Rep. Steve Drazkowski
State Office Building Room 327
St. Paul, MN 55155
Dear Reps. Drazkowski, Bahr, Munson and Miller:
Mayo Clinic has received your additional letter regarding vaccination requirements and exemptions. Please note the following per the questions you posed:
- A person qualifies for a religious exemption to a vaccine requirement when they demonstrate a sincerely held religious belief that prohibits them from receiving vaccination.
- A person does not qualify for a religious exemption if they fail to demonstrate a sincerely held religious belief that would prohibit vaccination. Mayo has followed applicable statutes and regulatory guidance with respect to its review and approval of requests for religious exemptions.
- Objections to the use of fetal cells do not prevent someone from receiving a religious exemption, nor does it guarantee that they will receive an exemption.
- A large, multi-disciplinary group of internal experts reviewed medical and religious exemptions in accordance with relevant scientific, ethical and legal standards. Outside counsel also advised on these processes as needed.
Mayo Clinic has granted well over half of the exemptions sought from our staff vaccine requirement. The organization is prepared to manage any potential impact to workforce as a result of employees who choose not to comply with this requirement.
- Mayo Clinic in Florida is delaying its decision to terminate employees in order to comply with Florida law, but that state law does not apply to our other locations. Other Mayo Clinic sites continue to follow the organization’s vaccine requirement in compliance with applicable laws in their respective jurisdictions.
As a private employer, Mayo Clinic is legally permitted to require staff to vaccinate absent a qualifying medical or religious exemption. Our processes are consistent with established law. As a health care provider that serves some of the most vulnerable patients in the world, we also have an ethical obligation to ensure patient safety by providing care during a global pandemic under a vaccinated staff. We understand that you object to vaccine mandates, a step many public and private employers have taken to ensure worker safety and manage an ongoing pandemic. Still, we feel we have an ethical obligation to maintain a vaccine requirement to serve the interests of our patients as well as the staff and communities that have expressed support and appreciation for this approach.
Gianrico Farrugia, M.D.
President and CEO