45 States Are Trying To Pass Laws To Eliminate Vaccine Requirements

The Bay's best newsletter for underground events & news

Image: CDC via Unsplash

You already know that Republicans are trying to restrict voting rights in pretty much every state of the nation, and their attack on abortion rights is in the news this week too. But there’s another scary — and deadly — Republican movement quietly slithering through state legislatures across the country, as a analysis found that 45 states (and the District of Columbia) are attempting to eliminate workplace or school requirements to get vaccines.

Even that number understates the scope of anti-vaccine laws. Oregon and Utah are not on that list because they already have laws prohibiting vaccine requirements. Otherwise, the only U.S. states that are not trying to undo vaccine requirements are Mississippi, Nevada, and North Dakota.

It has been a totally normal thing for years to require vaccinations for polio, smallpox, and whooping cough before you can work in places like schools, hospitals, and government positions. Vaccines are also required for international travel. These requirements are why we no longer get polio, smallpox, and whooping cough! And it is also normal and understandable that huge concerts and events would want proof ofvaccination for the remainder of 2021.

But the online legal repository JD Supra has compiled a list of vaccine legislation for all 50 states. We went through it and found that 45 states, plus Washington D.C., are all trying to eliminate vaccine requirements that have been standard for decades.

Most of these proposed anti-vaxxer bills are attempts to eliminate employer requirements for vaccination. The majority of them use language like “prohibit businesses and other entities from requiring an individual to be vaccinated against COVID-19.” A few of the other states’ proposed laws outlaw the use of vaccine passports, or broaden the religious exemptions so that they can apply to pretty much anyone. 

Even California has a proposed law to strike down vaccine requirements, though it’s more narrow than most states’. It only applies to businesses or entities that receive state funding. The bill aims to “prohibit any public or private entity, that receives state funding, from requiring individuals to provide documentation regarding their COVID-19 vaccination status as a condition of receiving any service or entering any place.” That bill is currently before the state legislature’s Committee on Health and the Privacy and Consumer Protection.

We should note that these are all proposed bills, none of them have passed. Amd many of the states have competing bills on the other side that would strengthen vaccine requirements or the use of vaccine passports.

Vaccines were never much of a political issue, outside of a few Jehovah’s Witnesses here and there. But once Trump’s massively incompetent botching of the COVID-19 crisis led to hundreds and thousands of deaths, vaccines became a culture war issue to help conservatives deny the scope of their colossal fuck-up. Getting vaccinated is sort of a tacit admission to them that Trump let this thing get completely out of control on his watch, and Republicans would rather watch hundreds and thousands of people die than admit they made a mistake.   

Like this article? Make sure to sign up for our mailing list so you never miss a goddamn thing!
Previous post

SF’s Cheapest Michelin Star Restaurants, Ranked

Next post

The SF Coffee Passport is Now only $10!

Joe Kukura- Millionaire in Training

Joe Kukura- Millionaire in Training

Joe Kukura is a two-bit marketing writer who excels at the homoerotic double-entendre. He is training to run a full marathon completely drunk and high, and his work has appeared in the New York Times and Wall Street Journal on days when their editors made particularly curious decisions.


  1. May 19, 2021 at 1:38 pm

    I think SF has done such a great job handling the pandemic, but I’m worried about what will happen if lift the mask requirements without requiring proof of vaccination. My friends in retail say there’s been a huge number of customers trying to come into their shops without masks on, which puts my friends and other customers in danger. The stories sound like these people who are trying to shop indoors without a mask are getting more and more hostile too.