New York State Assembly Introduces Bill Mandating COVID-19 Vaccine

December 8, 2020 Updated: December 9, 2020

New Yorkers will no longer get to decide if they will receive a COVID-19 vaccine if a bill calling for a mandatory vaccine gets approved.

New York State Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal, a Democrat who represents New York’s 67th Assembly District, quietly introduced a bill on Dec. 4 that would require “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.”

Every New Yorker, except those medically exempt, are required to receive the vaccine if the state’s vaccination efforts do not achieve “sufficient immunity from COVID-19.”

Rosenthal told WGRZ-TV the bill was “a protective health measure” that would “ensure that our residents are safe and protected against further spread.”

But in an event where not enough people get vaccinated to reach herd immunity, “the department of health of the state can then say that we need people to get the vaccination.” Rosenthal explained that an estimated 75 percent to 80 percent of the population would need to be vaccinated in order to achieve herd immunity.

Barbara Loe Fisher, cofounder and president of the National Vaccine Information Center, described the legislation as inappropriate.

“It is inappropriate for public health officials and state legislators to be introducing legislation that mandates use of an experimental vaccine being considered for release under an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA),” Fisher told The Epoch Times in an email.

“Until a COVID-19 vaccine is formally licensed by the FDA and recommended for use by certain populations by the CDC, it remains an experimental vaccine,” she said. “This kind of bill sends the wrong message to the public.”

The National Vaccine Information Center is a nonprofit organization that publishes “information on diseases and vaccine science, policy, law and the ethical principle of informed consent.”

Epoch Times Photo
Food and Drug Administration (FDA) signage is seen through a bus stop at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, in Silver Spring, Md., on Thursday, Aug. 2, 2018. (Jacquelyn Martin/AP)

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will meet with a panel of independent medical advisers that will discuss whether scientific evidence supports the view that Pfizer’s vaccine, called BNT162b2, is effective in preventing COVID-19 in people aged 16 and older, and if the known benefits outweigh potential risks. COVID-19 is the disease the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus causes.

The FDA released an analysis (pdf) of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine prior to its Dec. 10 meeting, along with Pfizer’s own analysis (pdf) of the vaccine’s effectiveness and safety, and says it will issue an emergency use authorization if the advisory panel gives the vaccine a positive recommendation.

In the UK, the government has already begun vaccinating its citizens. The country became the first to approve Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine, grant it an emergency approval, and give it immunity from civil lawsuits, under Regulation 345 of the Human Medicines Regulations (pdf) of 2012.

According to a press release from the UK government, individuals experiencing severe adverse reactions that cause them to be “severely disabled as a result of taking a COVID-19 vaccine” are able to “access financial assistance through the Vaccine Damage Payments Scheme (VDPS).”

Vaccine-injured claimants are entitled to a one-time payment of 120,000 pounds ($161,676) under the scheme if they are able to prove they were injured as a result of being vaccinated.

In the United States, vaccines granted emergency authorization are also not liable for the harm they may cause. The Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness (PREP) Act (pdf) allows the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services to issue a PREP Act declaration giving liability immunity to “entities and individuals involved in the development, manufacturing, testing, distribution, administration, and use of such countermeasures.”

People injured by vaccines that have been granted emergency authorization have one year after receiving a vaccine to file a claim and prove their injury under the Countermeasures Injury Compensation Program, a federal government program established as a result of the PREP Act. Certain survivors of people who died from those vaccines also qualify.

The PREP Act declaration for COVID-19 (pdf) went into effect on Feb. 4.

If the New York mandatory COVID-19 vaccine bill is approved, the bill will take effect immediately.

“Informed consent to medical risk-taking is a human right. Legislators should not forget that when proposing bills that use coercion and apply sanctions to force citizens to use vaccines without their voluntary consent,” Fisher said.

Tom Ozimek contributed to this report