One of Arizona’s newest State Senators, Janae Shamp (R-Surprise), has a bill headed to the Senate Health & Human Services committee Tuesday that would require employees in the state to have the opportunity to opt out of a vaccine mandate. Shamp, a former operating room nurse, said this bill would be significant for health care professionals.
“It’s sickening that many healthcare workers, like myself, lost our jobs because we refused to take the jab,” said Shamp. “The COVID-19 vaccine has not been on the market long enough to determine if there is a correlation between its ingredients and medical issues a number of patients are now experiencing after getting the shot. We already have a dire shortage of medical professionals within Arizona, and these mandates have only exacerbated the crisis.”
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Senator @AZSenatorShamp Fights Back Against Experimental Vaccine Mandates with New Bill#AZSenate #VaccineMandates pic.twitter.com/d7VqEazYG2
— AZSenateRepublicans (@AZSenateGOP) February 6, 2023
If Shamp’s bill, Senate Bill (SB) 1250, becomes law, any employer in the state, no matter the industry, must allow every employee to submit an exemption form. If the employee fills out the form stating that a religious belief prevents them from taking a vaccine, then the employer must allow them to opt out. The employer also cannot inquire into the legitimacy of the employee’s religious beliefs or discriminate based on their vaccine status. Aside from COVID-19, the bill would also allow employees to be exempt from flu, influenza, or any other “emergency use” vaccines.
Additionally, the bill stipulates that any health care worker can file a complaint with the Attorney General if an institution did not offer an exemption form and their employment was terminated because of their decision regarding the vaccine.
While speaking on the Nurse Out Loud podcast, Shamp shared that while working in the medical field, her contact company did not accept her religious exemption for the COVID-19 vaccine. So she was given the ultimatum of getting the shot or losing her job. She eventually decided to run for state Senate with one of her main goals being to fight for medical freedom.
“I’ve been in politics for many years, but the lockdowns, mandates, and shutting down of scientific debate during the Covid pandemic got me very involved in the fight for medical freedom and our rights,” said Shamp.
Moreover, the push to give health care employees the right to decide about a vaccine is not exclusive to Arizona. In the US House of Representatives, the Freedom for Health Care Workers Act passed through the house with bipartisan support in January. The act would prevent the Health and Human Services secretary from enforcing workplace regulations enacted during the pandemic, which includes vaccine mandates at Medicare and Medicaid facilities. However, President Joe Biden will likely veto this act if it reaches his desk.
If SB 1250 were to pass through the legislature, Shamp would then rely on the approval of Governor Katie Hobbs (D) for the bill to become law. While Hobbs did not give a straight answer when asked if she supported adding the COVID-19 vaccine to the list of immunizations needed to attend a public school in Arizona, she has spoken favorably about the vaccine and the Biden administration’s policies.
The Arizona Sun Times reached out to the governor’s office for a comment on this bill but did not receive a response.
Shamp has asked members of the public to attend the meeting to show support for the bill at the committee meeting, which is scheduled for Tuesday, February 7th, at 2 pm in Senate Hearing Room 1.
As a nurse I protect my patient's rights every day. The time has come for Arizona to do the same. #medicalfreedom pic.twitter.com/9fMrCANdo7
— AZSenatorShamp (@AZSenatorShamp) January 28, 2023
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Neil Jones is a reporter for The Arizona Sun Times and The Star News Network. Follow Neil on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected].
Photo “Janae Shamp” by Gage Skidmore. CC BY-SA 3.0. Background Photo “Arizona Capitol” by Pima County Public Library.
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[…] another bill from Shamp, SB 1250, which seeks to ensure medical professionals can be exempt from vaccine […]