Newly sworn-in, Harrison files first bill

District 10 representative’s legislation aims to restore rights and ban all COVID vaccine mandates

Staff report
Brian Harrison

AUSTIN — Rep. Brian Harrison, sworn in Tuesday on the State House Floor as Representative for House District 10, announced the filing of HB 168, the Texas COVID Vaccine Freedom Act, which bans forced COVID vaccines by confirming the rights of Texans to give informed consent before receiving this medical treatment, making it illegal to administer a COVID-19 vaccine without receiving informed consent, and empowering an individual with the ability to take legal action if coerced.

Many entities within Texas have been or are attempting to require COVID-19 vaccinations of Texans against their will. Additionally, the Federal government, in a completely unprecedented announcement, has committed to mandating forced vaccination of private citizens, including Texans, against their will. States like Texas must resist this overreach to protect its sovereignty and the rights and liberties of its citizens.

“This is boldest, broadest, most legally defensible assertion of individual liberty with respect to medical decisions and against unconstitutional and illegal federal COVID mandates to date,” Harrison said. “I am honored to be able to use my experience, as President Trump’s Chief of Staff for the Department of Health and Human Services and as an integral leader of the development of Operation Warp Speed as well as COVID-19 treatments, to craft this meaningful solution to allow Texas to lead the nation in fighting vaccine mandates.”

Forced COVID-19 vaccination is inconsistent with informed consent, which is a bedrock principle of federal and state law in all 50 states. The concept of informed consent makes clear that Texans, and all Americans, have the right to be fully informed about a medical treatment, so that they may make the personal decision to decline or undergo the medical treatment. Medical ethics incorporate this concept and require individuals to be aware of recommended treatments and be allowed to deny treatments.

While vaccine mandates have been upheld by the Supreme Court, they have always been state level mandates. The Supreme Court has also expressly held that states can provide liberties more expansive than those under the Constitution.

Key provisions of the bill:

• Prohibits all mandates for COVID-19 vaccines from both governmental and private entities — unless the individual to be vaccinated provides informed consent.

• Makes clear that any individual who is coerced or forced to receive a vaccine against their wishes CANNOT provide informed consent.

• Prohibits anyone from vaccinating any individual without their informed consent.

• Makes a healthcare provider who violates the act liable for damages in an amount of not less than $5,000.