Red Lake Nation News - Babaamaajimowinan (Telling of news in different places)

Minnesota Republicans cite natural immunity in debate over COVID vaccine mandates

Scientists and public health experts say vaccines provide the most consistent protection against the virus


January 24, 2022

Shari L. Gross, Star Tribune

A crowd filled the Minnesota State Capitol lawn last August during a rally against COVID vaccinations and mask mandates.

Minnesota Republicans are turning to natural immunity from COVID-19 as a way to push back on vaccine mandates, arguing that hospitals, businesses and public institutions should consider past infection in exempting some from requirements.

The idea is gaining traction in Republican-led legislatures around the country, despite pushback from public heath officials who say protection from infection varies dramatically from case to case. Studies show vaccines can cut the risk of infection even for those who have recovered from the virus.

But Republicans leading the Minnesota Senate say state and federal health agencies have shut down any debate, and they want natural immunity to be discussed as part of the state's pandemic response when the legislative session kicks off on Jan. 31.


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