NEW YORK (WKBW) — A bill proposed in the New York State Assembly by Assemblymember Linda B. Rosenthal (D/WF-Manhattan) would make the COVID-19 mandatory in "certain situations."
The proposed bill, which can be found online here, states once vaccine distribution begins if New Yorkers are not developing sufficient immunity from COVID-19 the vaccine would be mandatory for those who can safely receive it.
"If public health officials determine that residents of the state are not developing sufficient immunity from COVID-19, the department shall mandate vaccination for all individuals or groups of individuals who, as shown by clinical data, are proven to be safe to receive such vaccine."
The bill also states anyone who has received a medical exemption from a licensed medical professional would not be mandated to receive the vaccine.
During a COVID-19 update on December 2 New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said:
"You can't mandate that somebody takes the vaccine....we're trying to do it the other way - education, show that it's safe."
Assemblymember Rosenthal also proposed a bill that would allow all New York State residents to receive a COVID-19 vaccine at no cost, you can find that bill here.
Rosenthal released a statement Wednesday which said:
“I introduced this legislation because like all of us, I have seen too many families ravaged by COVID-19. I have lost loved ones and friends and have seen too many people become sick and die from a disease that has wreaked havoc on every aspect of our lives for nearly a year. Now, as we get closer to the day when a lifesaving vaccine will finally be widely available to the American public, I am hearing a concerning uptick in dangerous anti-science, anti-vax rhetoric that has the potential to endanger our health, damage our economy and delay our return to normalcy.
“If enough science deniers opt out of the voluntary vaccine process, we will not achieve the necessary level of community immunity, which will undermine the efficacy of our vaccination efforts statewide. Obviously, our hope is that with robust education and outreach, the vast majority of New Yorkers will volunteer to get vaccinated. If not, my new legislation will ensure that we achieve a safe level of community protection. Herd immunity won’t protect everyone, but if a high enough percentage of the population gets vaccinated, then the likelihood of community spread is low enough to enable a return to normal life, for students, parents, small businesses – everyone, who has been struggling to stay afloat financially and emotionally for the last nine months. Our heroic medical professionals and support staff have been on the frontlines of this pandemic for too long. Achieving herd immunity will help lift the inordinate burden under which they have been toiling."