Virginia State Health Commissioner Dr. Normal Oliver said he plans to mandate coronavirus vaccinations for all Virginia residents once one is made available to the public.
State law gives the Commissioner of Health the authority to mandate immediate immunizations during a public health crisis if a a vaccine is available.
“It is killing people now, we don’t have a treatment for it and if we develop a vaccine that can prevent it from spreading in the community we will save hundreds and hundreds of lives,” Oliver said.
State health authorities say they would never mandate a vaccine that wasn’t proven safe. But pro-medical-choice activists argue the issue is a matter of medical choice.
“This is not a Republican or Democrat issue. It’s not a pro-vaccine or anti-vaccine issue,” Virginia Freedom Keepers Director of Communications Kathleen Medaries, a mother of three, said. “For me, it’s an issue of being able to assess each vaccine for myself and my family one at a time.”
“He shouldn’t be the one person to make a decision for all of Virginians,” she added.