Congratulations Arkansas for Prohibiting State Mandated Covid-19 Vaccines

Arkansas House Bill 1547 passed the House and Senate and on April 28, 2021, became law, Act 977.  HB1547 not only prohibits vaccine or immunization mandates, it spells out the concept of coercion and firmly prohibits coercion. 

The bill notably included an Emergency Clause acknowledging the concerns of citizens:

“SECTION 4. EMERGENCY CLAUSE. It is found and determined by the General Assembly of the State of Arkansas …that citizens of this state have expressed concerns about  being forced to receive a vaccination or immunization for coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) without consideration of their religious, philosophical, or medical reasons or information about the safety of a vaccine or immunization for coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19); and that this act is immediately necessary to protect the safety and health of the citizens of this state who have religious, philosophical, or medical reasons for not receiving a vaccination or immunization for coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) or who have concerns about the safety of a vaccine or immunization for coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19).”

Key Highlights of the new law include:

Coerce defined:

(a) As used in this section, “coerce” means:

(1) Using physical violence, threats, intimidation, or retaliation with the purpose of causing a reasonable individual of ordinary susceptibilities to acquiesce when the individual otherwise would not;

(2)(A) Making conditional a private or public benefit, including without limitation employment, promotion, or another employment benefit, with the purpose of causing a reasonable individual of ordinary susceptibilities to acquiesce when the individual otherwise would not.

(B) However, other positive incentives that are above or beyond any expected compensation or benefit of employment shall not be included under the term “coerce”; or

(3) Using any other means with the purpose of causing a reasonable individual of ordinary susceptibilities to acquiesce when the individual otherwise would not.


No Mandates:

“(b)(1). The state, a state agency or entity, a political subdivision of the state, or a state or local official shall not mandate or require an individual to receive a vaccine or immunization for coronavirus 2019 (COVID 19).”

No Coercion:

“(c) Receiving a vaccine or immunization for coronavirus 2019 (COVID 19) shall not be a condition of education, employment, entry, or services from the state or a state agency or entity or for obtaining a licensure, certificate, or permit from a state agency or entity.”

Temporary Nature of the Law:

This new law has some language in it making it temporary: “(g) This section shall expire two (2) years from the date that the United States Food and Drug Administration approves the immunization or vaccine for coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19).” And “The Arkansas Code Revision Commission is directed to remove this act from the Arkansas Code upon the expiration of the terms of this act.”  However, in the future, “(d) If the recommendations include a suspension of the laws under this act, the standard exemptions for students may continue.”

Thank you, Arkansas, for protecting health freedom!!

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