Christian Nurse Who Refused COVID Shots Celebrates Graduation

Sep 15, 2022

A Christian nursing student joyously celebrated her graduation on August 12, 2022, but that happy day was once threatened by her school’s COVID shot mandate.

In 2021, a Liberty Counsel affiliate attorney, Jenn Vasquez, came to the aid of Doris Perez, a nursing student enrolled in the University of San Francisco in San Francisco, California. A demand letter was issued to the university requesting an accommodation for Doris’ religious beliefs. 

“I was threatened by my program Co-Director to get kicked out of the program because I refused to receive the COVID-19 vaccine due to my religious beliefs,” said Perez, who reached out to Liberty Counsel about her situation. She said she spent many nights “crying myself to sleep from the uncertainty” regarding the potential outcome of her situation. 

Shortly after her graduation, Perez sent Jenn Vasquez a thank-you note for helping her get through her program. “Thanks to your time and effort fighting for my religious freedom, my school allowed me to complete my hospital clinical hours by just submitting weekly COVID test results,” said Perez, who is the first in her family to get her college degree.

“Coming from parents that migrated here from Mexico and being a first-generation college graduate, receiving my college degree meant the world to my family and me,” she said. “This degree will make such a difference in my life, and I am forever grateful for your help. Once again, thank you from the bottom of my heart for your help and for the difference that you make in people’s lives.” 

Perez now has “BSN” after her name, having earned her Bachelor of Science in Nursing after 5½ years of study in her field. On August 12, 2022, she participated in her nurse pinning ceremony.

Liberty Counsel Founder and Chairman Mat Staver said, “Congratulations to Doris Perez on the completion of her nursing degree and the start of her health care career. We are proud of Doris for not compromising her religious beliefs. No one should be forced to take the COVID shots. No one should be forced to abandon their sincerely held religious convictions in a nation founded upon religious freedom.”

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