JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – A Missouri state representative has filed legislation that the sponsor says will strengthen the right of all Missourians to refuse medical treatments, including the COVID vaccine.

State Rep. Bill Hardwick (R-Waynesville) pre-filed HB 1686 for the 2022 legislative session. He says if it is passed, the legislation will prevent the state or any local government in Missouri from requiring anyone to receive the COVID-19 vaccination.

“This bill will mean that no school district can require a child to take the COVID vaccine in order to be in the classroom.  Parents will not have to choose between giving their child a shot they may have concerns about, or their child being forced to learn from home.  It will mean no police officer, no state, county, or city employees will have to make the choice between their jobs and getting a vaccine they don’t want for whatever reason they may have,” said State Rep. Hardwick.

When it comes to those working for private employers, HB 1686 will prevent questioning of a person’s personal religious beliefs of their personal medical circumstances. The bill says exemption requests from employees, including those in companies that are currently being targeted by the Biden Administration, would be granted broadly and without question.

“Your body does not belong to the government and it does not belong to a corporation.  You are the one that should decide if you want the COVID vaccine, that is your decision to make, not someone else’s,” said Representative Hardwick.

The bill now awaits committee assignment by the Speaker of the House when it convenes in 2022.