How a COVID-19 vaccine mandate exemption bill might affect you

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CHARLESTON, WV (WVNS) — A new legislation proposal from the Governor is causing quite a stir in Charleston.

As the bill is controversial, we wanted to gauge the opinion of people in our area.

In Mercer County, we spoke with business owners and employees who are upset over the idea of people losing their jobs if they are not vaccinated.

Bo Webb works for TG Mountaineer. He believes any requirement is going above and beyond, and rather it should be an option

“Any choice would be great, whether you are a student or a employee it should be your choice,” said Webb.

Several people said they feel for those who are having to choose between their beliefs or their jobs.

Webb said at his job they are not against vaccinations or wearing masks, and if people had more one-on-one conversations, there is a better chance for understanding. He is thankful he works for a small company, where he can discuss his decision. He is also worried the mandate may push hard working people away from their passion.

“You start taking that out of our coal mines, you’d take that experience out of any business. Mechanics, it doesn’t matter even carpenters. You have to have that experience, you take that away and we have nothing,” said Webb.

One woman we spoke with said if someone has a real medical or religious reason to not get vaccinated, then they should not be punished for it.

The bill also would restrict vaccines to be mandated for students. Keirsten Gillman lost her job during the pandemic and as she has always worked with kids, decided to start a private preschool.

She said while the last thing she wants to see as a teacher and caretaker is a sick child, it would not be right to require a vaccine for students.

“If anything it should absolutely be the parent’s decision, cause that is what it is all about when raising your kids,” said Gillman, the creator of Pisgah Preschool.

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