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Minnesota lawmakers, activists call for vaccine mandate ban

“Whether you’re pro-vax or anti-vax or whatever we’re for health care freedom and we believe mandates one-size-fits-all should not be the agenda," Rep. Glenn Gruenhagen, R-Glencoe, said at a Wednesday, April 20, news conference touting the bill at the state Capitol. "You and your medical provider can decide based on your health history what is best for you.”

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Any vaccine can cause side effects, but usually, these side effects are minor.
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ST. PAUL — A group of activists and lawmakers are pushing for a bill in the Minnesota Legislature that would ban COVID-19 vaccine mandates and potentially require health care providers to give patients “independent information” on vaccines.

The proposal calls for the creation of a “vaccine bill of rights” that would include at least five provisions detailed in the bill. Among those provisions is a ban on government and employer vaccine mandates, restrictions on individuals who decline vaccines, and a prohibition on employers from asking nurses and doctors to promote the vaccine.

“Whether you’re pro-vax or anti-vax or whatever we’re for health care freedom and we believe mandates one-size-fits-all should not be the agenda," Rep. Glenn Gruenhagen, R-Glencoe, said at a Wednesday, April 20, news conference touting the bill at the state Capitol. "You and your medical provider can decide based on your health history what is best for you.”

Gruenhagen was joined Wednesday by members of the Vaccine Safety Council of Minnesota and residents who described having adverse reactions to vaccines. The Vaccine Safety Council on its website says its mission is "to prevent injuries and deaths associated with vaccination."

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Rep. Glenn Gruenhagen

The bill would also require health providers to be made aware of a federal vaccine adverse event reporting system, and to provide “independent information” to patients about a vaccine — including “from sources other than pharmaceutical companies, governmental institutions, and quasi-governmental institutions.”

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It also would require the Minnesota secretary of state to prepare a vaccine bill of rights proposal and provide it to the president, congressional leaders, as well as the Federal Aviation Administration, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and other federal agencies.

Aside from Gruenhagen, House Assistant Minority Leader Peggy Bennett, R-Albert Lea, is listed as an author. At the Wednesday news conference, Gruenhagen and others called for Gov. Tim Walz to support a vaccine mandate ban. Walz in August 2021 announced a vaccine-or-test requirement for state agency employees.

Biochemist entrepreneur and third-party Minnesota gubernatorial candidate Hugh McTavish also spoke in support of the vaccine mandate ban, though noted evidence shows the vaccine prevents serious illness and death. Republican Minnesota attorney general candidate and MyPillow general counsel Doug Wardlow also spoke in support of the bill and against vaccine mandates.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention acknowledges the slight potential for adverse reactions from vaccines, including extremely rare cases of heart inflammation known as myocarditis. Still, the CDC recommends everyone 5 years of age or older get immunized against COVID-19 as the known risks of the disease vastly outweigh potential complications.

The U.S. Supreme Court in January blocked President Joe Biden's vaccine or test mandate for businesses with more than 100 employees. A federal judge this week struck down a federal masking requirement on airliners and public transportation.

Alex Derosier covers Minnesota breaking news and state government for Forum News Service.
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