Politics

New York Could Mandate Coronavirus Vaccine With Proposed Legislation

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Democratic New York Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal has introduced a bill that would force New Yorkers to get the coronavirus vaccine if not enough residents voluntarily get the shot once it’s available.

Rosenthal, who represents parts of Manhattan’s West Side, introduced the bill that would force New Yorkers to get the vaccine if herd immunity isn’t developed.

“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 reads.

The legislation would allow for medical exemptions.

The mandate would be necessary if not enough New Yorkers are willing to voluntarily take the vaccine, according to the bill’s support memo. (RELATED: Coronavirus Vaccine Will Not Be Mandatory, Joe Biden Says)

“While steps have been taken to reduce the spread of COVID-19, epidemiologists and public health experts have concluded that a vaccine will be necessary to develop herd immunity and ultimately stop the spread of the disease.”

“The State must make efforts to promote vaccination and ensure that a high enough percentage of the population is vaccinated against COVID-19 to develop sufficient immunity. If public health officials determine that sufficient immunity has not been developed, this legislation will allow the Department of Health to require vaccination.”

The bill does not define what constitutes as sufficient immunity. It is also unclear how the mandate would be enforced. Rosenthal did not respond to the Daily Caller’s request for comment at the time of publication.

A recent union poll conducted by the Uniformed Firefighters Association (UFA) found that roughly 55% of New York City firefighters polled would not take a COVID-19 vaccine when it becomes available to first responders, according to the New York Post.

UFA President Andy Ansbro said while he plans on getting vaccinated, some are choosing to opt out.

“A lot of them probably feel they are not in a risk category, they are younger, stronger, they may have already had it and gotten through it, and feel it’s not their problem,” Ansbro said, according to the report. “They are more familiar with the coronavirus than they are with the vaccine.”

Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo once shared the same skepticism, telling ABC’s “Good Morning America” in October that Americans should be skeptical of the vaccine.

When asked how confident he was in the FDA’s approval process, Cuomo told George Stephanopoulos he was “not that confident.”

“I don’t believe the American people are that confident,” Cuomo said. “You’re going to say to the American people ‘now, here’s a vaccine, it was new, it was done quickly, but trust this federal administration and their health administration that it’s safe, and we’re not 100% sure of the consequences.’ I think it’s going to be a very skeptical American public about taking a vaccine, and they should be.”

The skepticism seems to be brewing nationwide, with an Axios-Ipsos poll from September showing 61% of Americans would not be willing to get a first-generation coronavirus vaccine as soon as it’s available.

Vice-President Elect Kamala Harris also said in September she would be wary of a coronavirus vaccine that was approved quickly.