Arkansas lawmakers OK opt-out for COVID vaccine mandates


FILE – In this Thursday, Jan. 23, 2020, file photo, a patient receives an influenza vaccine in Mesquite, Texas. Amid all the focus on COVID-19 vaccinations, U.S. health experts have another plea: Don’t skip your flu shot. With U.S. schools and businesses reopened, international travel resuming and far less masking this fall, flu is likely to make a comeback. (AP Photo/LM Otero, File)

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Arkansas lawmakers have given final approval to legislation requiring employers to let their workers opt out of getting the COVID-19 vaccine.

The Senate approved the legislation on Wednesday despite opposition from the state’s Republican governor, business groups and hospitals.

The bill is among several attempts to limit or prohibit vaccine requirements that have dominated the Legislature’s attention during a session intended to focus on congressional redistricting.

It is still uncertain whether the bill will take effect immediately or early next year if it’s enacted.

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