Virginia health chief says he will MANDATE coronavirus vaccine
‘strongly opposes’ exemptions
Dr Norman Oliver, who heads up the state’s department of health, said he would require all Virginians to get the jab so long as he remains health commissioner when a vaccine is available, according to local ABC affiliate WRIC.
“[Covid-19] is killing people now, we don’t have a treatment for it and if we develop a vaccine that can prevent it from spreading in the community, we will save hundreds and hundreds of lives,” Oliver said.
While the Virginia legislature is currently considering a bill that would permit religious exemptions to a vaccine mandate, as of now only those with certain medical conditions can opt out under state law.
Oliver said he “strongly opposes” any religious exemption, and dismissed safety concerns over the immunizations, insisting “we would not launch a campaign around mass vaccination with anything that hasn’t proven to be safe.”
A local advocacy group, the Virginia Freedom Keepers – whose stated mission is to “raise awareness” on “medical freedom” issues – sees things quite differently. The group’s communications director, Kathleen Medaries, blasted the health commissioner, saying “he shouldn’t be the one person to make a decision for all of Virginians.”
“This is not a Republican or Democrat issue. It’s not a pro-vaccine or anti-vaccine issue,” Medaries added. “For me, it’s an issue of being able to assess each vaccine for myself and my family one at a time.”
Medaries and the Freedom Keepers are far from alone in their trepidation. Recent polling data indicates that some 40 percent of Americans would either refuse a vaccine outright, or are still unsure if they would take one. Netizens have also voiced skepticism following Oliver’s comments – many echoing the concerns over civil liberties, while others pointed to potentially dangerous “experimental” immunizations.
Once one state does it then watch out…I am not anti-vax but at the same time it should be your choice to take it or not.
Virginia Health Commissioner says he’ll mandate a COVID-19 vaccine https://t.co/q0NIJKpFmT
— EndGameWW3 (@EndGameWW3) August 22, 2020
“I am NOT an anti-vaxxer, but I would 100% move out of Virginia or any other state that MANDATED #coronavirus vaccine, cuz you know you’ll be forced to get the experimental ones before they’re tried and true,” one user wrote.
My bills to prevent the Commissioner from forcing vaccines on individuals whose health or religion prevents them from being vaccinated & to ensure vaccines are safe & ethical, could be heard Tuesday. Please urge @vah_hwi members to support HB5070 & HB5082 https://t.co/MGxd8Lz6Lo https://t.co/ct8c7u6oHf
— Delegate Dave LaRock (@LaRock4Delegate) August 21, 2020
MAKE VIRGINIA GREAT AGAIN! @jjord014
ALSO FROM RT
Bill Gates says ‘final hurdle’ to distributing a Covid-19 vaccine will be convincing people to TAKE IT
Russian developer of world’s first Covid-19 vaccine says it will protect against killer virus for at least TWO YEARS
(TLB) published this article from RT-USA News with our appreciation for the coverage.
Featured image credit: Screen shot WRIC
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