DFL Rep. Mike Freiberg has reintroduced a bill that critics say discriminates against unvaccinated children.
Minnesota law currently allows for both medical and non-medical exemptions for vaccination requirements in schools and child care facilities.
He argued that the policy as it stands has the potential to “adversely affect” children under 6 months of age who are too young to be vaccinated against certain diseases.
“They depend on as many other children as possible to get vaccinated to protect them against those diseases,” he said, noting that the COVID-19 vaccine is not currently part of Minnesota’s pediatric immunization schedule.
“There’s nothing about the COVID vaccine in that section of statute. It’s mainly the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine,” he said.
The CDC voted in October to add the COVID-19 vaccine to its childhood vaccination schedule and many states use the CDC’s recommendations for setting their own vaccine requirements but are not required to do so.
“A child care center or family child care provider may adopt a policy prohibiting a child over the age of two months who has not been immunized … from enrolling or remaining enrolled in the child care center or the family child care program,” Freiberg’s proposed legislation reads.
Freiberg has also authored legislation in the past to remove non-medical exemptions for school children, but he said he doesn’t know if he will be reintroducing that bill this session.
Freiberg was asked if he would consider the bill to be discriminatory against children who are not fully vaccinated according to the childhood vaccine schedule.
“If [child care centers] have that policy in place, they will be able to accept only children that have been vaccinated,” he responded. He said the bill would not impact medical exemptions for “a child who’s been injured” or one who is “particularly sensitive to vaccines.”
David, the founder of Mask Off MN, told Alpha News that the “exemption removal for daycares could be just the beginning.”
“When you look at Freiberg’s previous history, I’m not putting it past him to reintroduce past bills removing vaccine exemptions for children going to school,” he continued. “In the past, we had at least a little resistance in the lawmaking process, now there’s no resistance for anything the DFL tries to pass.”
“We are not only focused on the COVID vaccine; we are focused on choice as all vaccines have risks. It’s fine if you want to vaccinate your kids, but there should be real informed consent, not coercion, not $200 gift cards to low-income people to incentivize vaccinations,” he added.
He also explained that it’s extremely rare for individuals to be granted medical exemptions to vaccinations.
“It’s very well known that a medical exemption is almost impossible to get. If a doctor gives medical exemptions, they are on the radar of the medical board. Dr. Scott Jensen getting investigated again is an example of that. There are stories coming out of California, where doctors who give medical exemptions are getting in trouble with the medical board,” he said.
David said he believes that the bill is discriminatory. “The Democrats say that they are trying to protect people’s medical choices, they say that they trust Minnesotans to make their own health care decisions, but not when it comes to getting injected. Then we need to force everyone based on this cult-like belief that it does anything. Even if it did help the greater good, it shouldn’t be forced on anyone,” he commented.
Freiberg did not respond to Alpha News’ request for comment.