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Unvaccinated nurse posts Instagram video of her being escorted from hospital

Published: Nov. 4, 2021 at 4:51 AM HST
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SAN DIEGO (KFMB) - An unvaccinated nurse posted to social media a video of herself being walked out of a hospital in California.

It happened after Tori Jensen’s application for a religious exemption for a required COVID-19 vaccination was rejected.

“I am being escorted out of Kaiser Permanente hospital for my religious beliefs, because I don’t want to get the jab,” she says in the video.

Jensen is no longer a nurse at Kaiser Permanente San Diego Medical Center in the Kearny Mesa community. She posted videos on her Instagram page after she learned she was put on unpaid leave.

“‘It has been determined that your request is not based on a sincerely held belief in a religious doctrine or teaching that prevents you from obtaining any COVID-19 vaccine, therefore your request has been denied,’” she said, reading from a denial notice. “And so, I just feel like that is so subjective. This is America, we have religious freedom, and you really can’t even ask me what religion I am, under my First Amendment rights. It’s protected.”

Jensen said she is a Christian and had prayed on whether to take the vaccine.

“I prayed and God said, ‘Hey, your God-given immune system is sufficient to fight this,’” she said.

She said she asked for someone from HR to explain why her religious exemption was not accepted.

Kaiser Permanente released a statement, saying in part that it found some employees had taken word-for-word language from online forms meant to help people avoid vaccine mandates.

“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,” they said in the statement.

Jensen said it doesn’t make sense to her to fire nurses who want to work.

“This is my livelihood, this is really important to me,” she said. “I feel like I’m being discriminated against based on my sincerely held religious belief.”

When asked what she would say to patients who don’t want to be around an unvaccinated nurse, she replied, “That’s their choice.”

“I’ve never gotten COVID to my knowledge,” she said. “I’ve never given it to anyone, never put anyone in harm. I feel like I really feel confident taking care of my patients, because I have to test twice weekly, and I wear an N95. I take all the precautions.”

Jensen says she plans to apply for other nursing jobs in San Diego. She’s started a website, Walkstairs.com, for workers who lost their jobs for not getting vaccinated.

It seeks to connect them with employers who don’t require vaccination.

“I’ve been a COVID nurse since the beginning; that’s what we do, we’re nurses,” she said. “I’ll keep doing that - just somewhere else.”

Copyright 2021 KFMB via CNN Newsource. All rights reserved.