Arkansas bill creates antibody exemption for vaccine mandate

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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Arkansas lawmakers have advanced legislation that would allow workers to opt out of their employer’s COVID-19 vaccine requirement if they’re tested weekly or can prove they have natural antibodies. The House and Senate Public Health committees on Wednesday endorsed identical versions of the bill, which would also require the state to pay unemployment benefits to workers who are fired for not getting vaccinated. The measures are among several proposals pending in the Legislature to limit or prohibit private vaccine mandates. The bills are advancing despite legislative leaders saying they want to keep this week’s session focused on congressional redistricting.