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Five members of the South Carolina House of Representatives have pre-filed a bill which would allow residents to opt out of vaccination programs and prohibit discrimination on the basis of vaccination status.
The bill, proposed by Republican Representatives Steven Wayne Long, Sandy McGarry, Mike Burns, Patrick Haddon, and Democratic Representative Leola Robinson, is only one sentence long. It would, if passed, "allow individuals to opt out of infectious or contagious disease vaccinations" and "prohibit discrimination against individuals who exercise their right not to be vaccinated."
There are no current plans to make the coronavirus vaccine mandatory in South Carolina.
While vaccines are not mandatory in South Carolina, a number of vaccines are required for students to be allowed to attend school. To attend school, pupils must receive the hepatitis B, DTab, polio, MMR, varicella, and Tdap shots. Prohibition on discrimination against unvaccinated individuals may put an end to such requirements.
The bill would ensure, however, that employers cannot discriminate against employees or potential employees who have not been vaccinated.
The bill has been referred to the Committee on Medical, Military, Public and Municipal Affairs.