Religious exemptions No. 1 cause of unvaccinated health care workers

Data Desk

DENVER (KDVR) — Nothing keeps people from being vaccinated as much as religion, at least as far as public data on healthcare personnel is concerned.

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment loaded a new dataset onto its COVID-19 dashboard last week. The new information collects numbers from the state’s thousands of healthcare facilities of all stripes on their employees’ vaccination status.

In all the state’s healthcare facilities, about 92% of 319,000 workers are fully vaccinated. Another 1% are partially vaccinated.

The remaining 23,000 are unvaccinated or have a medical or religious exemption.

Religious exemptions account for more unvaccinated healthcare personnel than anything else.

There are more healthcare personnel with religious exemptions than unvaccinated, partially vaccinated and medically exempt personnel combined. In healthcare facilities, 4% of personnel have religious exemptions, compared to 2% unvaccinated, 1% partially vaccinated and 1% medical exemptions.

Religious exemptions are more concentrated in some kinds of healthcare facilities than others. Birth centers, residential care facilities for the disabled, home care agencies and home health agencies each have two to three times the percentage of workers with these exemptions than the state.

Across all facilities statewide, 7% of personnel have religious exemptions. In hospitals, which is the largest section of healthcare workers, only 3% of workers have religious exemptions from the COVID vaccine.

Home care agencies and home health agencies have 11% and 10% of workers with religious exemptions, respectively. Together, these two types of facilities employ more healthcare workers than any other type except hospitals.

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