State lawmakers advance COVID-19 vaccine mandate ban

South Carolina News

FILE – A registered nurse fills a syringe with the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine at a pop-up vaccination site in the Staten Island borough of New York, April 8, 2021. All private employers in New York City will have to require their workers to get vaccinated against COVID-19, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Monday, Dec. 6, imposing one of the most aggressive vaccine rules in the nation. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, File)

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — A panel of South Carolina lawmakers has advanced a proposal to ban COVID-19 vaccine mandates for state and local government employees, contractors and public school students.

The bill considered Tuesday by a House Ways and Means subcommittee would effectively make such vaccine mandates illegal for first responders as well.

School districts wouldn’t be able to require students to get the shots and private employers wouldn’t be allowed to fire employees who don’t get inoculated.

The House expects to bypass its typical rules and take up the bill at Thursday’s special session just hours after it’s expected to pass the full Ways and Means Committee.

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