VA Health Commissioner Reportedly Planning to Mandate COVID-19 Vaccine When It’s Available

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It seems like ages ago that we were told it was just “two weeks to stop the spread.”

Now, six months later, we’re being told it’s “until there is a vaccine,” a goalpost which is often applied to determining if millions of hardworking Americans can expect to be able to open their businesses, send their children to school, or even attend their houses of worship.

So what happens when said vaccine comes along?

You guessed it.

They begin discussing whether or not the hurridly developed vaccine should be made mandatory to allow for re-entry into normal life.

As you’ve heard on repeat since this mess began: this is the new normal.

Virginia’s Health Commissioner reportedly plans to make a vaccine for COVID-19 mandatory as soon as one is made available to the public.

ABC 8News in Virginia reports that Dr. Normal Oliver, who has the authority to mandate immediate immunizations during a public health crisis, also told the outlet he opposes religious exemptions from such a vaccine.

“It 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.

Health officials currently expect a vaccine to be released as soon as early 2021.

And if Dr. Oliver is still the Health Commissioner, 8News reports he told them, he intends to see to it that the vaccine is developed.

The outlet also reported that Oliver “strongly opposes” a bill introduced in the Virginia General Assembly in an ongoing special session that would allow those with religious oppositions to vaccines to opt-out.

This bill must clear a House of Delegates committee before the full chamber would be able to vote on it.

From ABC 8News:

Oliver says he strongly opposes the bill. He doesn’t know what the punishment would be for non-compliance but expects that most people will respond well to the mandate.

Meanwhile, a new poll suggests more than one in three Americans aren’t interested in getting a coronavirus vaccine. Even though health officials say it will be safe, some have raised concerns about the speed of development.

“We would not launch a campaign around mass vaccination with anything that hasn’t proven to be safe,” Oliver said.

Meanwhile, whether or not a vaccine has been proven to be safe is something that many Virginians would like to determine for themselves.

Kathleen Medaries, Director of Communications for Virginia Freedom Keepers and a mother of three, told the outlet that this is a personal, not political issue.

“This is not a Republican or Democrat issue. It’s not a pro-vaccine or anti-vaccine issue, ” she explained said. “For me, it’s an issue of being able to assess each vaccine for myself and my family one at a time.”

“He shouldn’t be the one person to make a decision for all of Virginians,” Medaries said of Oliver.

 

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