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Senate Bill 8 would prevent mandatory vaccinations

Published: Feb. 5, 2021 at 6:07 PM CST
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BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) - Senate Bill 8 passed the Kentucky Senate on Wednesday, the bill would prevent the Governor or the Cabinet for Health and Family Services from enforcing mandatory vaccinations.

“There’s already provisions for certain things, you know, children, the parents could opt-out for religious reasons or because their medical care provider says they shouldn’t take it,” says Senate Majority Whip Mike Wilson, R-Bowling Green.

Senator Wilson is the sponsor for the bill and says the bill changes little to existing law.

“People at workplaces, like clinics and medical, you know, hospitals and things can mandate that part of your employment is that you have to be vaccinated. We didn’t touch any of that,” said Wilson.

While no such mandate exists on COVID-19 vaccination, Wilson says constituents were concerned.

“All we did was a little section of the law, where it states that if indeed, there’s an epidemic or pandemic, it does, you know, just says epidemic, the cabinet, or actually, the executive could mandate that everyone in the affected area must take the vaccine, which caused the pandemic,” said Wilson. “But there are no opt-outs on that. And that’s what alarmed people.”

Wilson says he himself is not an anti-vaxxer and has already received both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.

“I was offered the vaccine when we started going into the session. and, you know, I felt real strongly that if I got COVID, and that would be, you know, 10 to 14 days, I wouldn’t be up there in session representing--people in warren county, that would be without representation in the senate. So I went ahead and took it,” said Wilson.

If COVID-19 vaccination were to become mandatory in the future, Senate Bill 8 would allow you to opt-out for a religious or conscientiously held belief. But places like schools, universities and those employed in the health care field may still be subject to immunization policies set by their employer, university or school district.

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