The Governor of Alabama, Kay Ivey, on Monday (May 25) signed a bill into law banning public institutions and private businesses from requiring COVID-19 vaccine passports to access services.
“I’ve signed SB 267! Since the development of the COVID-19 vaccine, both Dr. Scott Harris (state health officer) and I have said that we would not mandate vaccines in the state of Alabama”, the Republican governor said in a statement.
“I am supportive of a voluntary vaccine, and by signing this bill into law, I am only further solidifying that conviction” the governor added.
She also said she has been vaccinated and would “encourage any Alabamian who has not gotten their shot to roll up their sleeves”.
The law went into effect immediately and says state and local governments “may not issue vaccine or immunization passports, vaccine or immunization passes, or any other standardized documentation for the purpose of certifying the immunization status of an individual, or otherwise require the publication or sharing of immunization records or similar health information for an individual” outside of already-required school vaccinations.
Schools “may continue to require a student to prove vaccination status as a condition of attendance only for the specific vaccines that were already required by the institution as of January 1, 2021, provided that the institutions give an exemption for students with a medical condition or religious belief that is contrary to vaccination.”
Alabama is the latest state to try to prohibit proof of a coronavirus vaccination to enter a business, school or event.
In April, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott issued an executive order prohibiting government-mandated proof of inoculation in his state. He argued that “government should not require any Texan to show proof of vaccination and reveal private health information just to go about their daily lives.”
Earlier this month, Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis said: “In Florida, your personal choice regarding vaccinations will be protected and no business or government entity will be able to deny you services based on your decision.” He cited freedom of choice as a reason for signing legislation banning vaccine passports.
On April 10, 2017, Kay was sworn in as the 54th Governor of the State of Alabama. Following a successful nineteen months in office, the people of Alabama made history again in November 2018 by electing Governor Ivey to a full term. She is the first Lt. Governor of Alabama elected to a full term after taking over as governor due to a vacancy in the governor’s office.
Alabama is the 30th largest by area and the 24th-most populous of the U.S. states. The state's economy in the 21st century is based on management, automotive, finance, manufacturing, aerospace, mineral extraction, healthcare, education, retail, and technology.