In this March 2, 2021, file photo, a pharmacy technician loads a syringe with Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine at a mass vaccination site at the Portland Expo in Portland. Credit: Robert F. Bukaty / AP

A proposal from a group of Maine Republicans to ban mandatory coronavirus vaccinations for five years is up for consideration by a legislative committee this week.

The lawmakers, led by Rep. Tracy Quint on Hodgdon, have based their proposal in part on the theory that coronavirus vaccines cause reproductive harm. Numerous medical authorities have said the claim lacks merit, and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has stated there is “no evidence that any of the COVID-19 vaccines affect future fertility.”

The proposal is slated for a work session before the Maine Legislature’s Committee on Health Coverage, Insurance and Financial Services on Tuesday.

The bill states that it “prohibits mandatory vaccinations for coronavirus disease 2019 for 5 years from the date of a vaccine’s first emergency use authorization by the United States Department of Health and Human Services, Food and Drug Administration in order to allow for safety testing and investigations into reproductive harm.”

Maine authorities are not currently considering any proposals that would make COVID-19 vaccines mandatory for residents.

Story by Patrick Whittle.