Bill filed to ban COVID vaccine requirements for employers, schools

The North Carolina General Assembly. Photo via A.P. Dillon/North State Journal

RALEIGH — Four Republicans in the N.C. House of Representatives filed a bill on Monday that would prohibit COVID-19 vaccine requirements for employers and students in public schools.

The bill, titled the Medical Freedom Act, was filed by Rep. Brian Biggs (R-Randolph) and co-sponsored by Reps. Jon Hardister (R-Guilford), Neal Jackson (R-Moore) and Donny Lambeth (R-Forsyth).

The bill would prohibit any state and local government agency or political subdivision of the state from issuing COVID-19 requirements or require proof of COVID-19 vaccination records of any person. The bill prevents state and local government from subjecting vaccine requirements on private citizens and also on public employees. State and local government agencies or political subdivision of the State will be unable to discriminate against a person’s refusal to provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination or submit to a COVID- 19 vaccination when seeking employment, according to a summary of the bill.

Biggs stated, “I am proud to join Majority Whip Jon Hardister, along with Rep. Lambeth and Rep. Jackson in proposing legislation that will protect North Carolinians from losing their jobs due to COVID-19 vaccine mandates and protect parents’ rights to make healthcare decisions for students.”

In addition, the bill prohibits public schools from issuing a vaccine mandate on students, faculty or staff.

Hardister stated, “This bill allows citizens to choose whether or not they want to take novel vaccines that have not been subjected to long-term studies. The government should not force citizens to take vaccines that have not reached far beyond experimental status.” 

Jackson added, “It is an honor to work with my fellow legislators in preventing COVID-19 vaccine mandates from violating the personal and parental rights of our citizens and their healthcare decisions.”

The bill also prohibits administrative bodies such as the N.C. Commission on Public Health and the State Board of Education from imposing a COVID-19 vaccine requirement for students.

Another aspect of the bill includes language to bar public school units from instituting the use of face coverings and says healthy students cannot be quarantined.

Lambeth commented, “I am pleased to work with my colleagues to offer a response to mandatory and unnecessary vaccine mandates. This decision to take a relatively unknown vaccination should be left as a personal decision, not one mandated by government.”

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Matt Mercer is the editor in chief of North State Journal and can be reached at [email protected].