BOONE COUNTY, Ky. — Should a COVID-19 vaccine be mandated by a state agency is a question that is surfacing as medical experts get closer to finding a cure.

What You Need To Know

  • Rep. Savannah Maddox pre-filed a bill against mandatory COVID-19 vaccinations

  • Maddox believes Kentuckians should have the right to choose whether or not to receive a vaccination

  • Gov. Andy Beshear says there are no plans for mandatory vaccinations

By January 2021, a COVID-19 vaccine is likely very possible.

While we’re not there yet, State Representative Savannah Maddox has pre-filed Bill Request 301.

“What I’ve sought to do with BR 301 is to allow Kentuckians to decide for themselves whether or not to receive a vaccine under these circumstances,” Maddox said.

The current language in the Kentucky Revised Statutes 214.036 says in part: “Provided, however, that in the event of an epidemic in a given area, the Cabinet for Health and Family Services may, by emergency regulation, require the immunization of all persons within the area of epidemic, against the disease responsible for such epidemic.”

“In theory with the availability of a coronavirus vaccine, it is very possible that it could be mandated that every Kentuckian would have to receive,” Maddox said.

Through the bill, Maddox is seeking to ban the state-required vaccinations and give Kentuckians the choice to make that decision. 

Governor Andy Beshear addressed the issue during Wednesday’s press conference.

“There’s no plan for a mandatory vaccination. People deserve to see the information about how safe it’s going to be and to make a decision and that’s how we’re going to approach it. I can tell you that I’m going to take it when it is safe. There may be certain implications for businesses and whether or not you have taken a vaccine or not. There’s zero plans and never has been for any type of mandatory vaccinations,” Beshear said.

Maddox argues that this is about consent and liberty of making that individual choice.

“I do not feel it is the appropriate role of the government to use force to mandate that people must receive a vaccine without any type of exemption,” Maddox said.