State Assemblyman-elect Keith Brown said Tuesday he opposed a bill that would mandate Covid-19 vaccinations for most New Yorkers.
Assembly bill 11179, sponsored by Manhattan Democrat Linda B. Rosenthal, would require the vaccine if “residents of the state are not developing sufficient immunity from COVID-19, the department shall mandate vaccination for all individuals or groups of individuals who, as shown by clinical data, are proven to be safe to receive the such vaccine.”
The Northport Republican said he favors the vaccine and that he and his family will receive it when it becomes available.
But, in addition to concerns about the speed with which the vaccine was developed, Brown said, “I believe that as an American, each and every one of us has a constitutional right to determine what is best for ourselves and for our children. Every New Yorker should be able to study the risks and benefits of the vaccine and make their own decision as to whether or not they will receive it. I will oppose this bill if it comes before me in the Assembly as well as any bill that threatens our individual liberties and right to self-determination.”
The Covid-19 vaccine was developed by Pfizer and arrived for distribution in New York on Monday. Northwell nurse Sandra Lindsay was the first person to receive the vaccine in the U.S. in an attempt to end the public health crisis around the world. More than 300,000 Americans have died since the epidemic began.