On August 25, 2020, New Jersey assemblymen Conaway, Zwicker and Jasey introduced A4576, a bill that creates a new immunization requirement for all New Jersey students, including adults and remote learners. The bill would force all K-12 students as well as those in institutions of higher learning to get annual flu shots to receive a public or private education in New Jersey. This requirement would go into effect for the 2020-2021 school year, with a compliance deadline of December 31, 2020.
Currently, New Jersey requires children 6 months of age to 59 months of age to receive an annual flu shot to attend daycare or preschool. If A4576 is passed into law, students of all ages will be required to get an annual flu shot to be eligible to receive an education in New Jersey. This bill will effectively add a yearly immunization requirement to the list of mandated vaccines for ALL students age 5 and older. Even students who are in full compliance with all other state vaccination requirements will not be able to attend school.
The bill’s sponsors say the flu shot mandate is needed because “flu symptoms are very similar to those of COVID-19, and preventing the flu will save lives and preserve healthcare resources.”
In reaction to this proposed measure, Assemblyman Gerry Scharfenberger (R-13) has introduced A4659 to reinforce parental and guardian rights when it comes to students getting flu shots. Senator Joseph Pennacchio (R-26) introduced a matching bill, S2995.
If passed into law, A4659 will supersede the government overreach of the current flu shot mandate for children 6 months to 5 years of age who attend daycare or preschool. Specifically, it prohibits a government entity or school from requiring influenza vaccinations for anyone 18 years of age or younger.
Bill A4659 will help preserve constitutional rights in the state of New Jersey. It ensures parents are able to exercise choice when it comes to medical interventions for their children, and that they can make these decisions without losing their right to an education in the state of New Jersey. We are in turbulent times; medical mandates are being arbitrarily and falsely used under the promise of better health outcomes in the state through measures that force citizens to surrender their constitutional and parental rights. This unscrupulous tactic should concern every New Jersey citizen. To preserve your rights, citizens should band together to support A4659 as a positive piece of legislation that will prevent government overreach as it pertains to mandating flu shots for minors.
Please urge your legislators to support A4659, and implore Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin (D-19) and Senate President Stephen Sweeney (D-3) to have this bill heard on the floor.