San Diego nurse denied religious exemption for COVID vaccine

“I am being escorted out of Kaiser Permanente Hospital for my religious beliefs because I don’t want to get the jab,” said Jensen.

SAN DIEGO — California’s vaccination for healthcare workers took effect Sept. 30 which allows religious or medical exemptions, however, nurse Tori Jenson’s religious beliefs didn’t make the cut at Kaiser Permanente San Diego Medical Center in Kearny Mesa. 

“I am being escorted out of Kaiser Permanente Hospital for my religious beliefs because I don’t want to get the jab,” said Jensen in an Instagram video.

Jensen is no longer a nurse at Kaiser Permanente. She posted videos on her Instagram page being escorted out after she learned she was put on unpaid leave.

“‘It has been determined that your request is not based on sincerely held belief in a religious doctrine, or teaching that prevents you from obtaining any COVID-19 vaccine, therefore your request has been denied,'” Jensen reads as she is looking at an email from Kaiser Permanente. “I just feel that is so subjective. This is America! You can’t ask me what religion I am. It’s protected. I am Christian. Jesus Christ is my Lord and Savior. I prayed about it a lot and given everything and all the pressure received from Kaiser, God said you have a God-given immune system to fight this and that’s good enough for me.”

“Why is not my religion good enough for Kaiser?” asks Jensen in an Instagram video.

Kaiser Permanente released this statement saying in part: 

“We believe that misusing the religious exemption to avoid vaccination is disrespectful to those with sincere religious beliefs, and could violate the ethical standards we expect our employees to meet.”

“I don’t know what kind of pandemic it is firing nurses willing to work doesn’t make sense to me,” said Jensen in an Instagram video. 

“This is my livelihood. I feel I’m getting discriminated against for my religious beliefs,” said Jensen. “I’ve never gotten COVID to my knowledge. I never put anyone in harm. I feel like I am confident. I have to test twice weekly. I wear an N95 and I take all the precautions. I’ve been a COVID nurse since the beginning. I’ll keep doing that just somewhere else.”

Jensen said she plans to apply for other nursing jobs in San Diego. In the meantime, she has started a website called walkstairs.com to provide a platform for employers to find employees willing to work and choosing to not be vaccinated. 

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