Vaccine Requirements: South Carolina lawmakers pushing to ban vaccine mandates


SPARTANBURG, S.C. (WSPA) – Mask requirements continue at a lot of places. However, there’s a growing discussion over vaccine requirements. Some South Carolina lawmakers are trying to stop that idea in its tracks.

As the owner of a hair salon, Stephen Mills spends a lot of time very close to others. That’s why he’s getting vaccinated soon. However, he does not plan right now to require his employees to do the same because he said they will likely be getting the shot regardless.

“I don’t think we should put a mandate on people being vaccinated. I think it should be their choice, but I just hope they do it,” said Owner of At Stephen’s Hair Salon, Stephen Mills.

A handful of South Carolina lawmakers are pushing for that to be the case across the board, banning any kind of vaccination mandates including from employers.

“It would preclude having a forced mandate to take it number one and number two, it also has some provisions in the bill where you couldn’t have repercussions on you if you opted out to do that,” said Representative Mike Burns.

We spoke to some upstate residents who offer different perspectives.

“It should be on the employee themselves to decide whether they want to get the vaccine or not,” said Spartanburg County Resident, Deion Holmes.

“I do feel like employers should get their employees vaccinated just so they help prevent the spread of COVID-19,” Spartanburg County Resident, Charles Wideman told us.

“Certain workplaces should require. I feel like hospitals definitely should be a place where requirement of the vaccine is needed,” Spartanburg County Resident, Alyssa Palmer said.

7 News spoke with a handful of school districts and hospital systems in the upstate. None of them are requiring their employees to get vaccinated, however they said it’s highly encouraged.

A spokesperson with Prisma Health sent us the following statement:

“Prisma Health does not require team members to get vaccinated. Historically, Emergency Use Authorization (EAU) vaccines – regardless of research showing their effectiveness or safety – have not been mandatory. Once the vaccine is no longer under EUA status, Prisma Health will begin discussions about whether to require the vaccine for its team members.

In the meantime, we continue to encourage our employees to get the COVID-19 vaccine. Team members are also asked to wear masks – even if vaccinated – and to continue to socially distance and wash hands.”

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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