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TWO EXTREMELY IMPORTANT SENATE BILLS- take action before 8:00 am Thursday!

Updated: Feb 11, 2022

Senate Bills 587 and 601 are on the docket for Senate Education and Health Committee TOMORROW, Thursday, February 10, 2022 at 8:00 am. If passed, these bills (scroll to bottom for summaries) would protect Virginians' right to reject immunizations based on religious beliefs during an emergency and prohibit requirement of COVID-19 vaccination- we need these two bills to pass committee!

Please take a moment tonight or early tomorrow morning to call and/or email senators listed below (feel free to email all at once with subject line "SUPPORT SBs 587, 601").

L. Louise Lucas (Chair)

(804) 698-7518

Richard L. Saslaw

(804) 698-7535

Janet D. Howell

(804) 698-7532

Stephen D. Newman

(804) 698-7523

Mamie E. Locke

(804) 698-7502

George L. Barker

(804) 698-7539

J. Chapman Petersen

(804) 698-7534

John A. Cosgrove, Jr.

(804) 698-7514

Lynwood W. Lewis, Jr.

(804) 698-7506

Siobhan S. Dunnavant

(804) 698-7512

David R. Suetterlein

(804) 698-7519

Mark J. Peake

(804) 698-7522

John S. Edwards

(804) 698-7521

Ghazala F. Hashmi

(804) 698-7510

Todd E. Pillion

(804) 698-7540

SB 587 State Health Commissioner; powers in epidemic, religious tenets or practices.

Summary: Powers of State Health Commissioner in epidemic; vaccine; religious tenets or practices. Allows a parent or guardian to object to the vaccination or immunization of a child on the grounds that the administration of immunizing agents conflicts with his religious tenets or practices, even if an emergency or epidemic of disease has been declared by the State Board of Health, which is not allowed under current law. The bill also provides that nothing shall preclude the State Health Commissioner from requiring immediate immunization of all persons in the case of an epidemic of any disease of public health importance for which a vaccine exists other than a person, including a parent or guardian on behalf of a child, who objects on the grounds that the administration of the vaccine conflicts with his religious tenets or practices. Under current law, the only exception to the Commissioner's power to require immediate immunization of all persons in case of an epidemic of any disease of public health importance for which a vaccine exists is for a person to whose health the administration of a vaccine would be detrimental as certified in writing by a physician licensed to practice medicine in the Commonwealth.

SB 601 COVID-19 immunization; prohibition on requirement, discrimination prohibited.

Summary: COVID-19 immunization; prohibition on requirement; discrimination prohibited. Prohibits the State Health Commissioner and the Board of Health, the Board of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services, the Department of Health Professions and any regulatory board therein, and the Department of Social Services from requiring any person, including any child, to undergo vaccination for COVID-19 and prohibits discrimination based on a person's COVID-19 vaccination status (i) with regard to education, employment, or issuance of a driver's license or other state identification or (ii) in numerous other contexts.

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