ALBANY – A downstate lawmaker is proposing a COVID-19 vaccine mandate that would depend on how people respond to the arrival of vaccines in New York state.
Assembly person Linda Rosenthal (D), who represents New York’s 67th Assembly District in New York City, recently proposed the legislation.
However, local Assemblyman Andy Goodell (R) says it is unlikely the bill will get much traction this year.
He says discussions will likely continue in to the new year, and that, he doesn’t think a mandate is a good idea.
“If you’re concerned about getting this virus and you want to take the vaccine I would certainly encourage you to do so, and I support the effort to prioritize the vaccine availability amongst those who are at highest risk,” said Goodell. “At the same time I do not support having the vaccine mandated, if someone doesn’t want to take the vaccine, either because they’ve already been exposed for example, they already have the antibodies, or maybe they are in a very low risk group, that is a personal decision that they should make.”
Summarized on the New York State Senate website, if enacted into law the bill “requires a COVID-19 vaccine to be administered in accordance with the department of health’s COVID-19 vaccination administration program and mandates vaccination in certain situations.”
This legislation does not propose an automatic requirement for vaccination when one becomes available. Instead, it’s based on the ‘response’.
“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 legislation says.
The legislation goes on to note that anyone who is exempted by a licensed medical professional would not have to be vaccinated.
After it was introduced, the bill was referred to a committee for further examination and discussion.
Meanwhile, there’s also legislation introduced by Assemblymember John Salka (R) that prohibits a mandatory immunization against the coronavirus.
Governor Andrew Cuomo says the first doses of the Pfizer vaccine coming to New York are expected to arrive next Tuesday.