New bill would bar vaccine mandates in Vermont

Agência Brasília

NO MORE MANDATES?: A new bill introduced in the Vermont Legislature would disallow the enforcement of any vaccine mandates.

A bill introduced this month by a handful of lawmakers spanning all three political parties would bar vaccine mandates in Vermont.

“This bill proposes to recognize and to prohibit any interference with an individual’s rights to bodily autonomy, to make the individual’s own health care decisions, and to be free to accept or refuse any health or medical intervention, testing, treatment, or vaccine-based on the individual’s own religious, conscientious, or personal beliefs,” the text of the bill reads.

The bill’s main sponsor is Rep. Vicki Strong, R-Albany. Co-sponsors include Reps. Mark Higley, R-Lowell, Warren Kitzmiller, D-Montpelier, Rob LaClair, R-Barre Town, and Paul Lefebvre, I-Newark.

Higley told TNR in a recent phone interview that the current law on vaccination policy in Vermont is to allow for a religious exemption from vaccinations for school children — but not a philosophical one. This bill’s language implies that a philosophical exemption would become welcome again. Higley said a legal expert advised the lawmakers that dividing the two apart was a questionable legal move.

“At that time, Cheryl Hanna, the constitutional attorney from Vermont Law School, testified before our committee and said that to remove one and not the other would be unconstitutional,” he said.

Higley added that this bill is about protecting individual choice on medical decisions.

“For me, this bill really clarifies a person’s right to choose whether or not to have treatment or certain medical interventions,” he said.

Higley added that his constituents are concerned about vaccination mandates.

“I’m certainly hearing from a number of them that don’t approve of getting the shot for one reason or another,” he said. “A lot of times they don’t tell me their reasons, but I certainly have my respect for what their positions are.”

He added it’s best to talk to doctors for information on vaccines.

The state of Vermont is not currently enacting vaccine mandates, but the Biden administration has been attempting to force both the private and public sector workforce to make COVID vaccines a condition for work. Some exceptions may be allowed if individuals undergo regular virus testing.

This is not the first time Strong has taken a stand on vaccine safety and individual rights. She once told TNR she had a constituent die due to a vaccine reaction.

Other states have already passed measures to ban the enforcement of various COVID-related mandates. Christopher Curley, writing for in November, noted that Florida has been experiencing some of the lowest case counts in the nation despite its lack of mandates.

“Florida currently has one of the lowest per capita rates of COVID-19 cases of any state, despite having a lax — and at times outright hostile — approach to implementing public health measures to curb the pandemic,” he wrote.

Federal courts in the U.S. have been issuing decisions against enforcement of national vaccine mandates.

One of the judges to rule on the matter in late November was Judge Gregory F. Van Tatenhove.

“It strains credulity that Congress intended the FPASA, a procurement statute, to be the basis for promulgating a public health measure such as mandatory vaccination,” he wrote. “If a vaccination mandate has a close enough nexus to economy and efficiency in federal procurement, then the statute could be used to enact virtually any measure at the president’s whim under the guise of economy and efficiency.”

Michael Bielawski is a reporter for True North. Send him news tips at and follow him on Twitter @TrueNorthMikeB.

Image courtesy of Agência Brasília

15 thoughts on “New bill would bar vaccine mandates in Vermont

  1. There is just something about the way this bill is worded that worries me. When it states “to prohibit any interference with an individual’s rights to bodily autonomy,”, could this statement then be used in defending late term abortion rights and prop.5?

  2. I just spent the last hour sending emails to our “reps” asking for their support of this bill. I/We have many more to go but it’s a start. WE ALL need to do this!! ACTION!

  3. Great job everyone… is some inspirational wisdom.

    Proverbs 24:16
    For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again: but the wicked shall fall into mischief.

    So, I’ve read this at least 24 times over the last couple of years along with the expanded explanation below and I think perhaps finally understand some of it. He only asks you to stand up. Stand up for what is right, he’ll do the heavy lifting from there, he’ll raise you up, like he did Job.

    Merry Christmas.

  4. The authors of this concept just need to keep plugging away at it and we the people need to render support wherever we can.

    Nothing great is ever achieved without some sacrifice. Just look at our history in the USA.

    Get ready folks, we have our work cut out for us.

  5. It will never happen. Do you think the Commiecrats would give up that much power?

    “We know that no one ever seizes power with the intention of relinquishing it”.
    George Orwell

  6. Government of the people, for the people, by the people has as its core assumption that the people aren’t stupid. The people are capable of weighing options and making decisions, given accurate information.

    A top-down government assumes that the people are too stupid to do the right thing, and in fact this assumption is the motivation for demanding that laws be enacted to force these stupid people to do the right thing.

    Liberty is messy. We don’t all get what we want. But at the core of it is protecting the rights of the minority that disagrees with the majority.

    If your mask works and your vaccine works, good for you. You’re protected. Our greatest good isn’t that the government sits atop of us and dictates to us what our greatest good is, but that we each determine for ourselves what our greatest good in.

    In medical matters, history is loud and clear that the evils of forced medication far outweigh the “evils” of fully informed consent to medication without penalty for refusal. This isn’t a trivial or distant issue, something only applicable to “those people” over there who did that then. It’s in fact happening here, as we slowly descend into a medical police state.

  7. This is fantastic and much needed! Does anyone know if this bill would protect hospital employees, as well?

  8. Way to go, way to go. What a wonderful Christmas present. Merry Christmas to you.

    Keep doing stuff like this and you’ll be the pied piper with 100k Vermonters following you. Thank you letting us know what’s going on!

    Way to go!

  9. If ever there was something Vermont should be first in this would be it, and while you are at it make masking follow the same criteria!

  10. Since Vermont allows a person to decide to end their life, one would think that the legislature would find the wisdom to allow a person to decide what goes into their own body, not the government. My body, my choice, I think we’ve heard that before!

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