Legislative panel in Maine halts proposal to ban COVID-19 vaccine mandates

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A legislative committee in Maine has rejected legislation that would have imposed a ban in the state on vaccine mandates.

The proposal from a GOP legislator was dismissed in a party-line vote by the state legislature's Health and Human Services Committee, according to The Associated Press.

The measure was proposed by state Rep. Tracy Quint (R). Democrats have majorities in both chambers of the legislature.

Those who supported the bill argued that banning vaccine mandates would provide more time to study the possible reproductive effects of the vaccine, the AP reported, though health officials have said that there is no evidence of reproductive harm.

State Sen. Joseph Baldacci (D) told the Portland Press Herald that the proposed bill would make it tougher for medical professionals to navigate the pandemic.

"What I'm voting against is hamstringing medical professionals over the next five years when the science is changing admittedly. I'm not going to put medical providers and scientists in a straight jacket and risk the lives of 1.5 million Mainers," he said.

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