Religious objections to COVID vaccine: Wierowska

Miss P Wierowska v HC-One Oval Ltd [2022] UKET 1403077/2021 was a tribunal judgment on the preliminary issue of whether or not the claimant was entitled to rely on religious objections to the COVID vaccine in a claim against her former employers arising from her dismissal.

Miss Wierowska had been a care worker until she was sacked on 28 April 2021 and claimed that one of the reasons for her dismissal was that she had refused COVID vaccine on religious grounds. As a Roman Catholic, she said that it was contrary to her faith on three grounds: that it involved the use of foetal blood, that it might interfere with DNA in the nucleus of cells and that the vaccines “are, or were, experimental, with unknown long-term repercussions” [2]. In the case management order preceding the hearing her position was stated like this:

“38. The claimant believes, in accordance with the dicta of Roman Catholicism that

38.1 blood is God given and therefore sacrosanct and it is therefore contrary to the tenets of the faith to alter the blood by adding man made vaccines.

38.2 life is sacrosanct and that it is contrary to the tenets of the faith to use foetuses in the creation of Covid vaccines” [3].

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