Utah moves to bar government from mandating COVID-19 vaccines

A woman receives a COVID-19 vaccination at the Mountain America Exposition Center in Sandy on Thursday, Feb. 11, 2021. | Laura Seitz, Deseret News

SALT LAKE CITY — A bill to bar government agencies from requiring Utah employees to receive COVID-19 vaccinations (except for health workers who need the vaccine to work) won bipartisan approval from the Utah House of Representatives on Monday.

The House voted 66-2 to approve Rep. Robert Spendlove’s HB308. It now goes to the Senate for consideration.

“The purpose of this bill is to find the right balance between public health and personal liberty,” Spendlove, R-Sandy, said on the House floor before the vote.

Spendlove called the COVID-19 vaccine a “miracle and a wonderful thing for our society” amid the pandemic still gripping the world after almost a year.

“But at the same time, we have to acknowledge it was developed very quickly and under a year,” Spendlove added, noting that most vaccines usually take about four years to develop.

“So while we want to be encouraging everyone to get a vaccine, while we want to be educating people about the benefits of getting the COVID vaccine,

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