A New Jersey lawmaker is pushing a plan that would exempt people that have had COVID and developed natural immunity from having to follow vaccination requirements.

State Sen. Joe Pennacchio, R-Morris, said his measure, S4136, would allow entities to accept a person’s verbal confirmation that they have natural immunity due to a prior COVID infection to satisfy any vaccination or testing requirement that may be imposed as a condition of employment or to receive services, participate in activities, attend school or college, or gain admission to a place or venue.

The bill, however, would not take the place of any federal laws, rules, or orders requiring proof of vaccination or a negative test result to enter a facility.

He said the Murphy administration’s multitude of vaccination requirements, even for people who have had COVID and recovered, is negating what science has taught us.

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“What they’re doing is just feeding into the cynicism by them not recognizing the fact that there’s natural immunity, and an Israeli study actually showed that natural immunity is 13 times more potent than regular immunity,” he said.

He said the study, involving 700,000 people in Israel, found those who had been infected with COVID were more than 25 times less likely to have a second COVID infection, compared to those who were vaccinated.

He noted in several countries throughout Europe including Italy, France and Germany, “they’ve actually said no, if you’ve had the disease we only have to give you one shot. The point is at least they’re recognizing natural immunity.”

He stressed this kind of legislation is needed because Gov. Phil Murphy has issued mandates forcing hundreds of thousands of workers across Jersey to demonstrate proof of full COVID-19 vaccination or provide negative COVID-19 test results on a frequent basis as a condition of employment.

Also, the governor has signed a string of executive orders rapidly extending vaccine and test requirements to the entire state government workforce, preschool and school personnel, as well as public and private health care workers, child care personnel and state contractors.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, even if you have had COVID you should be vaccinated because “research has not yet shown how long you are protected from getting COVID19 again after you recover, and evidence is emerging that people get better protection by being fully vaccinated compared with having had COVID-19.”

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