Bill to limit local government vaccine mandates approved by Senate committee

Updated: Mar. 5, 2021 at 9:15 PM EST
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - The Senate health committee passed a bill Wednesday that would stop local governments from requiring residents take a vaccine.

Under current law, local governments have the authority to require people get vaccinated, according to the bill.

Bill sponsor Sen. Arthur Orr, R-Decatur, said his proposal would create exemptions for people who don’t want to be immunized.

Those exemptions would include those who oppose a vaccine based on religious beliefs or sincerely held personal beliefs as well as those with certain medical conditions.

However, Orr says if there was an extreme emergency during an epidemic, some state lawmakers could take those exemptions away for a period of time.

Orr said the survivability rate would need to be much lower than it is with COVID-19 to strip away those exemptions.

“Then I think at that point, the state may have to come in and say, given the circumstances, we’ve got to take control, and we have to ensure that everyone is vaccinated,” he said.

The bill passed unanimously out of the Senate health committee.

It now moves to the full Senate for a vote.

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