Cancer patient says she can’t finish college despite medical exemption for COVID-19 vaccine – WSOC TV
ROCK HILL, SC — A cancer patient has said her university is denying her a medical exemption for the COVID-19 vaccine. Now she is unable to complete her last classes.
“I’m a straight A student. Why can’t I pass these classes and get put on the front line? said Andrea Marsh.
The 29-year-old is enrolled in York Technical College‘s nursing program. The school only requires the vaccine for students in certain health programs.
She said she received a medical exemption from her oncologist and was instructed not to take the COVID-19 vaccine.
“I had breast cancer. It was the third step. It was a real struggle for me,” Marsh said.
She said the cancer care she received inspired her to become a nurse, so last year she enrolled in an LPN program at York Tech.
“I was told they would like us to have the vaccine, but it was not mandatory. I couldn’t get it at the time because my doctor said no,” she said.
In December, Marsh said her school told her she should get the shot, but her doctor always advised against it.
“I’ve been on oral chemo since I got off IV chemo and I’ve had a lot of checkups since then, but they told me my cancer count was going up,” Marsh said.
According to Marsh, York Tech refused to honor his medical exemption.
“Students in certain paramedic and nursing programs rotate through third-party clinical sites to successfully complete the clinical training component required for those programs, in accordance with accreditation training standards. York Tech does not have authority over the policies and procedures of third-party healthcare providers,” a York Tech spokesperson said in a statement to Channel 9.
On Wednesday, the hospital where Marsh would conduct his clinics told Channel 9 it would honor his medical exception. But new federal regulations in nursing homes would not allow Marsh to conduct his clinic without vaccinations.
Marsh said her school could have allowed her to do the nursing home component of her clinics virtually.
“Just like people with physical disabilities have wheelchair ramps. Why can’t I be excused? My doctor says I can’t have a vaccine. It’s like a wheelchair, I can’t climb stairs,” Marsh said.
York Tech said virtual clinical assignments were needed for a very limited time when clinical facilities did not allow any students on their premises.
“Permission to conduct clinical training virtually has been granted by our national accrediting body. Since COVID-19 restrictions were lifted, we are now obligated to continue with pre-COVID clinical standards, which include students actively participating in direct patient contact and care,” the school said in a statement.
Marsh argues that she should be given special housing. She plans to file complaints with state and federal authorities.
(WATCH BELOW: Local family fought COVID and cancer at the same time)
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