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New bill would prevent government agencies from requiring workers to get vaccinated

Laura Seitz, Deseret News

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah — A new bill would prevent government agencies from requiring employees to receive a COVID-19 vaccination. 

Targeting government agencies 

HB308 is being sponsored by Rep. Robert Spendlove, R-Sandy. According to him, the bill isn’t meant to deter individuals from getting vaccinated, rather it’s aimed at avoiding government overreach.

“The purpose of the bill is to find the right balance between public health and personal liberty,” said Spendlove. “We have to acknowledge it [the vaccine] was developed very quickly and under a year.”

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His bill would ban mandates from all branches of the government, including at the county and city level.

“While we want to be encouraging everyone to get a vaccine, while we want to be educating people about the benefits of getting the COVID vaccine, we don’t want to be mandating from the government that people receive the COVID-19 vaccine,” he explained.

Exception to the rule

The major exceptions are that it would not apply to health workers who need the vaccine to work. It also would not step into the realm of the private sector.

Connor Boyack, president of the Libertas Institute, spoke in favor of the bill at a House committee meeting last week.

“Ultimately, while no one is intending for now to do this, we live in the age of mandates and executive orders in response to this prolonged emergency,” he explained. “So I think a lot of people would like to take this option off the table and make clear no one is planning on doing this and just reassure the public in that regard, which may then help in the broader education efforts to encourage people voluntarily to obtain the vaccine.”

Spendlove has also iterated that he has not heard of any “specific ideas” that a government agency would mandate the vaccine.

How To Prevent the Spread of COVID-19 Coronavirus

COVID-19 coronaviruses transmitted from person to person. It is a virus that is similar to the common cold and the flu. So, to prevent it from spreading:

  • Wash hands frequently and thoroughly, with soap and water, for at least 20 seconds.
  • Wear a mask.
  • Don’t touch your face.
  • Keep children and those with compromised immune systems away from someone who is coughing or sneezing (in this instance, at least six feet)
  • If there is an outbreak near you, practice social distancing (stay at home, instead of going to the movies, sports events, or other activities.)
  • Get a flu shot.

Local resources

KSL Coronavirus Q&A

Utah’s Coronavirus Information

Utah State Board of Education

Utah Hospital Association

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Utah Coronavirus Information Line – 1-800-456-7707

National Resources

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Commonly asked questions, World Health Organization

Cases in the United States